More than 60,000 injuries and 500 fatalities occur to drivers and pedestrians in busy mall parking lots and garages each year. A high percentage of mall parking lot accidents and injuries are caused by distracted drivers who are not paying attention to other motorists and pedestrians. When parking lots are congested with heavy traffic and shoppers, the risk of serious accidents increase. State Farm Insurance reports that parking lot accidents increase by 20 percent during holiday seasons and special sale events.
Safety in the Mall Parking Lot
According to the National Safety Council, 66 percent of drivers say they are distracted while driving through mall parking lots and garages, especially during holidays and sale events when parking lots are extremely crowded. Checking GPS navigation systems, searching for convenient parking spots, talking or texting on cell phones, looking at decorations, and watching out for pedestrians puts many drivers at increased risk for car accidents. Accident studies show that 63 percent of drivers admit to using their GPS systems while driving through mall parking lots. In addition, 52 percent use social media, 50 percent send emails and texts, 49 percent snap photos, and 43 percent surf the internet or video chat with friends.
Distracted pedestrians are also at risk of injury when in mall parking lots. Pedestrians who are entering or exiting their cars, walking across parking structures, and searching for stairs and elevators are often hit by drivers. While slower speeds may give drivers and pedestrians a false sense of security, mall parking lot accidents and injuries commonly result in serious injuries.
Common Parking Lot Accidents
When parking lots and garages are busy, drivers and pedestrians face increased injury risks. Although accidents often occur at low speeds, serious injuries including bruises and lacerations, fractures and broken bones, and head trauma can occur from falls and collisions. Parking lot accidents frequently include:
- Two drivers rushing to the same parking space
- Two drivers backing into each other from adjacent spaces
- One driver rear-ending another driver
- A moving driver colliding with a stopped driver
- A driver colliding with a pedestrian
Drivers in parking lots and garages must stay alert and visible to avoid car accidents. It’s important to drive slowly, keep car headlights on, and watch out for other cars and pedestrians. Every year, at least 51 pedestrian deaths occur from drivers blindly backing up. Cars with backup cameras and alert systems can save lives.