Key Points of This Article:
- Parking lots are some of the most dangerous places for pedestrians. Each year about 230 deaths and 13,000 injuries can be attributed to cars backing over pedestrians in parking lots.
- Tampa Bay parking lot accidents are on the rise to a total of 5,600 individual incidents in a single year, more than all other accidents involving pedestrians, motorcycles and alcohol combined.
- Take precautions to stay safe in parking lots and seek legal assistance if you’ve been injured.
Tampa Bay Parking Lot Accidents Increase 16%
They say it’s safer to drive in a parking lot than on a highway, right? Not so fast. Florida parking lots aren’t as safe as you might think. Right now, parking lots can be downright dangerous for both drivers and pedestrians.
The number of Florida parking lot auto accidents is much higher than most people realize. In 2018, accidents that occurred in our state’s parking lots resulted in 32 fatalities and 7,000 injuries. Right here in Tampa Bay alone, parking lot accidents rose 16% to a total of 5,600 individual incidents in a single year, more than all other accidents involving pedestrians, motorcycles and alcohol combined.
Why are more accidents taking place in Tampa Bay’s parking lots? The culprit could be a false sense of security. Car accidents that occur in parking lots often involve people talking on their cell phones -whether they are a driver or a pedestrian, using navigation systems and other devices while driving or walking, cutting across the lot, forgetting to check for pedestrians, and other driver behavior and otherwise that puts lives at risk. Some say drivers get comfortable in parking lots and forget about the basic principles of driving safely, like checking rearview mirror for traffic or pedestrians and looking both ways before proceeding forward.
Drivers are also distracted by looking around for things other than pedestrians, like entrances, parking spots, traffic signs painted on the floor and exits. These distractions take your eyes off the road for the mere seconds it takes to harm someone, or worse.
Don’t Let Your Good Driving Down in Parking Lots
In a National Safety Council study, 66% of all U.S. drivers admit to making a phone call in a parking lot and 56% admit to texting. Half say they have composed or read an email, taken a photo or watched a video while driving through a parking lot.
The Safety Council points out that drivers should be just as cautious in parking lots as they are while driving on high-speed highways and interstates. Parking lots might have lower speeds, but they have far more hazards in the form of human beings. Children are at an especially high risk of being hit in parking lots due to their short height and tendency to dart around in unexpected ways.
It’s Not Just Frequency. It’s Also Severity.
Parking lot accidents aren’t just common. They can also be catastrophic. Pedestrians’ bodies are fully exposed to the constant stream of vehicles traveling through parking lots. Even a parking lot car accident involving a pedestrian at extremely low speed can cause the person to be crushed under the car’s bumper or wheels. Some of the most common types of parking lot injuries include:
- Abrasions, laceration and other skin damage
- Crushed and broken bones
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Nerve damage
- Burns and road rash
- Damage to internal organs
Keep Tampa Bay’s Parking Lots Safe – Take Control
Here’s the best precaution to take to help make Tampa Bay’s parking lots safer: Just Stop. If you need to make a phone call, send a text, check driving directions, read an email – or do any other kind of personal business – cautiously enter a parking lot, stop your car in a marked parking space, take care of business and proceed only when you are fully finished and ready to re-engage with driving.
As you drive through parking lots, stay alert and treat it like any other busy roadway. Watch carefully for pedestrians in a complete 360-degree circle around your vehicle, particularly in heavy-traffic areas and near entrances where people are coming and going.
When you’re a pedestrian walking through parking lots, watch out for one of the most dangerous types of parking lot incidents: backover accidents. When a car backs over a pedestrian, the person is at high risk of a crushing-related death. Each year about 230 deaths and 13,000 injuries can be attributed to this one kind of parking lot accident.
If you’re ever injured in a parking lot, seek the help of a Tampa Bay personal injury attorney. A personal injury lawsuit gives you a sense of empowerment and allows you to seek compensation from the driver who caused your injuries, so you can recover from your accident and move forward.
When Results Matter, Call Kemp, Ruge & Green of Tampa Bay
Regardless of the reason for your injury, if someone else caused it, the only way you can recover from your medical bills and other losses is through a personal injury claim. The attorneys at Kemp, Ruge & Green Law Group handle many areas of personal injury law including car accidents. We believe you should only have to work on getting well, while we worry about using the justice system to protect your rights. We give our clients with the best possible results-driven service. You pay us only if we win in injury cases. Call 877-941-4878 today for a free consultation.