The holiday season is a busy time for stores and shopping centers. Parking lots fill up as people scramble to buy last minute gifts or food for holiday parties. Unfortunately, the number of accidents in parking lots increases with the influx of shoppers.1
Crowded parking lots can be particularly dangerous places due to a high risk of car and pedestrian collisions. Reports estimate that nearly 1 in 5 accidents during the holiday season will occur in parking lots.2 Parking lots are problematic as a result of several hazards that can exist, and some of those hazards include the following:
- Congestion. Crowds of holiday shoppers can lead to overcrowding. This can increase the probability of collisions, whether it be multiple-vehicle collisions or a vehicle striking a pedestrian.
- Speeding. Many drivers fail to slow down in parking lots, even during the holiday season. This is true even despite the awareness of overcrowding. Instead, speeding continues to occur in parking lots because people are in a hurry and are impatient. Diminished reaction times do nothing to reduce the risk of accidents.
- Blind Spots. Parking lots often feature several blind spots. These blind spots can occur as a result of traffic or the parking lot's layout. Simply pulling into a parking spot in a crowded parking lot can create blind spots. As drivers pull out of a spot, they may struggle to see other hazards or other drivers (especially those who are speeding).
- Distracted Driving. Congested parking lots feature a surprisingly significant amount of distracted driving. Holiday drivers tend to focus on finding an available parking spot and they often fail to pay attention to pedestrians or other vehicles as a result.
- Lack of Enforcement. Most stores and shopping centers do not employ traffic enforcement in their lots. Drivers can get greedy or reckless, causing more accidents as a result.
- Layout. Parking lots often involve tight turns and numerous intersections that may or may not have a stop sign. It can be confusing whose turn it is and who has the right of way in many situations. In smaller lots, it may be challenging to back out of a space without hitting other vehicles.
Injuries and Damages
Accidents occurring in parking lots can result in injuries and significant damages. Injuries, as well as property damage, can range from minor to severe. Examples of potential injuries occurring in parking lot-related accidents include:
- Concussions. Concussions occur whenever the brain suffers trauma, typically when it rattles and strikes the inside of the skull. Concussions can result in a loss of consciousness, nausea, and even damage to the brain. Symptoms and repercussions can be temporary or even permanent.
- Spinal Injuries. Spinal injuries can occur during an accident or if a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle. These injuries can impact a victim's ability to walk or use certain limb functions. They can create minor discomfort or lasting complications.
- Bruises or Broken Bones. The sheer size of an automobile can cause bruising or broken bones in many parts of the body. Some broken bones can require surgery and physical therapy.
- Property Damage. Parking lot accidents can result in property damage, either to vehicles, fixed objects in the parking lot, or even, on rare occasion, the store/shopping center itself.
CONTACT A ST. PETERSBURG PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY TODAY
You may be entitled to compensation if you are injured or your property is damaged as a result of an accident. An attorney can help you recover damages. Allow the car accident attorneys of Dolman Law Group the opportunity to review the facts of your case. Our knowledge and experience handling personal injury cases will help us develop and implement a sound legal strategy custom tailored for your case. Call 727-222-6922. and schedule your free consultation today.
DOLMAN LAW GROUP
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712