Most people don’t think much about parking in a parking garage. For many, it’s the end point of a daily commute. For others, it’s part of visiting a busy urban area, sporting facility or shopping mall.
But parking garages can be dangerous places.
According to the National Safety Council, more than 50,000 crashes occur every year in parking lots and garages in the U.S. These crashes result in approximately 500 deaths and 60,000 injuries every year.
Why are parking garages so dangerous?
One of the biggest reasons is that drivers are often distracted while driving in garages and parking lots. According to a survey by the National Safety Council, a majority of drivers admitted to engaging in distracted driving behavior while in a parking lot:
- Talking on a cell phone: 66 percent of drivers
- Programming a GPS: 63 percent of drivers
- Texting while driving: 56 percent of drivers
- Using social media while driving: 52 percent of drivers
- Sending or receiving emails while driving: 50 percent of drivers
- Watching videos or taking photos while driving: 49 percent of drivers
When drivers are distracted in parking garages and parking lots, accidents can happen. Drivers may accidently back into a parked vehicle. Drivers may not see pedestrians when their eyes are on their phones. Any number of serious accidents can happen.
How can accidents in parking garages be avoided?
First and foremost, drivers must pay attention while driving. Pedestrian traffic and distracted drivers are a dangerous combination. Drivers should park their cars before making a phone call or sending a text. Moreover, drivers should never text and drive.
Also, drivers should watch their speed – even if the garage seems empty.
Pedestrians should also take caution. They should assume that drivers don’t see them, ensuring eye contact is made before crossing in front of a vehicle.
It is just as important for pedestrians to be on the lookout for distracted drivers as it is for drivers to pay attention behind the wheel. Distracted drivers will always pose a threat to pedestrians. Being vigilant in high traffic areas can help pedestrians stay safe.