We see a lot of pedestrian parking lot accidents in Florida. It seems rather odd because vehicles are typically driving slowly in a parking lot. So, why do these happen so frequently? It usually boils down to the same factor that causes pedestrian accidents on the roads- not paying proper attention to surroundings.
Common Driver Parking Lot Errors
- Not looking for pedestrians - Despite being in a parking lot, many drivers forget to look out for people walking to their vehicles. People can be tough to spot amidst a sea of large vehicles. Take your time when navigating a parking lot and be sure to look for people, even where you wouldn’t expect them.
- Ignoring the rules - Drivers often ignore the traffic lines and drive diagonally across parking spaces to get to the nearest exit or an open space in the next row. Stick to the marked rows to avoid surprising a pedestrian who is walking near the vehicles or another vehicle who has chosen to sneak through that same spot.
- Entering from a highway - Cars turning quickly into the parking lot from a main road can forget to slow down to parking lot speeds. With greater speed comes a shorter timeframe to avoid an accident with a person or vehicle. Be sure to slow down when you enter the parking lot so you have time to look around and potentially stop to avoid any injury.
- Driver distraction – Parents turning around to check for buckled children, using cell phones, changing the radio station and other things we all know we shouldn’t do when driving can take our attention off of driving and put others in danger. Get situated before putting the car in drive. When it is time to drive, focus on that alone.
Common Pedestrian Parking Lot Errors
- Assuming it is safe if the driver sees you - Many people assume once they step off the curb into the parking lot crosswalk, the driver will stop. This is not always the case, even though it is the law. When you are walking across a parking lot or street, always make eye contact with drivers and wave so they know you are going to cross. If you have any question whether a car will stop, don’t walk out in front of it!
- Distracted walking - Pedestrians are walking along with many of the same distractions as drivers. They could be on their phone, tending to a child, looking for their keys, etc., while crossing into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Get your keys out at the checkout counter and hold off on the text messaging until you are in a safe place.
- Overestimating mobility - In Florida, we have a lot of older pedestrians that don't have the ability to react as quickly as other younger pedestrians. They don't see, hear or move as well.
If you were struck by a vehicle in a parking lot in Florida you will need the guidance of an experienced injury attorney to resolve your claim. We understand everyone is a pedestrian at some point in their day, whether walking into the grocery store or entering the gym. That’s why we are strong advocates for people injured by drivers.
Call us today to talk about your accident and find out how we can help you. Be sure to order our free Pedestrian Accident Guide to prepare you for the road ahead.