Parking Lots Just as Dangerous as Highways
Traffic safety does not begin and end with local roadways in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area. As pointed out in a recent report by Safety + Health, the Official Magazine of the National Safety Council Congress and Expo, parking lots can be just as dangerous.
The problem pointed out in the article is that motorists tend to treat parking lots as "an afterthought." Once they are off the road, motorists slack off on practicing safe driving, and in many cases, they admit it.
In a 2016 poll of nearly 2,500 drivers, the National Safety Council found that motorists are much more likely to engage in distracted driving in parking lots rather than streets. This ranges from phone calls and texting, to personal grooming and the use of social media.
Yet parking lots present their own set of dangers:
- The presence of pedestrians, who are often walking beside and behind moving vehicles.
- The blind spots and reduced sight lines caused by parked vehicles and large delivery vehicles.
- The frequent and abrupt turns of motorists searching for parking spaces.
- The distracted driving, as noted above, of motorists who feel it is somehow safer to use technology in parking lots as opposed to roadways.
It's also important to note that parking lots are the property of business owners, premises owners and municipalities who have a legal responsibility to maintain safe conditions. There are often maintenance issues, ranging from poor lighting to inadequate snow removal, and lack of timely repair of hazards such as potholes.
Accident risks are high in parking lots.
With so much happening in a parking lot, such as motorists driving haphazardly and pedestrians seemingly appearing out of nowhere, accidents are an unfortunate consequence. As either a pedestrian or driver, you can easily become the victim of a distracted motorist who backs out of a parking space without checking the rear-view mirror.
An accident in a public parking lot in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C., can be just as frustrating as a highway crash on the Capital Beltway. You can be just as easily hospitalized by someone driving 15 mph as someone driving 65 mph and face the same losses, medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and disability. Then of course you have to deal with the insurance companies applying the same pressure and questionable tactics to settle your claim, and parking lot operators who are not willing to admit they bear some responsibility, and other legalities.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a parking lot accident, contact the Law Office of Stuart L. Plotnick, LLC, a law firm and litigation boutique in Rockville, Maryland with extensive experience in personal injury and accident law.
The firm has 25 years of litigation and trial experience throughout the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area, including Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. You can contact the firm for a free consultation, or call (301) 251-1286. Stuart Plotnick knows that even so-called small accidents can have a large impact on your life.