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Explaining dangers of a motor vehicle accident in a parking lot

As the holiday season moves forward and people are busier and busier in New York and across the country, there is a rising danger of being in a motor vehicle accident. While these accidents often happen on the road, there are also times when people will be in a crash in unusual locations and circumstances. One in particular is in a shopping center parking lot or garage. The National Safety Council has examined this issue and determined that two-thirds of drivers might be distracted while entering these parking areas.

Cellphones are a common factor in drivers being distracted. This can be linked to calling others or sending a text message. It is believed that because drivers are not traveling at a high rate of speed in a garage or lot that they can perform these activities safely. Although it is unavoidable to need to drive at a slower speed in a parking lot, people can still suffer catastrophic injury when hit by a car. Video evidence of incidents such as these are prominent. One involved a 24-year-old woman who was hit by a speeding vehicle in a parking lot as she pushed her baby in a stroller. She was killed. The baby lived. Another involved a vehicle that went out of control and hit nine other vehicles. Luckily, no one was seriously hurt.

The NSC states that a minimum of 60,000 people suffer injuries with 500 or more people killed in the 50,000 accidents that happen in garages and lots on an annual basis. There is as much risk when a driver is traveling at five miles-per-hour as there is at 50. Surveys have indicated that two-thirds of people asked stated that they felt they could make calls while driving. More than 50 percent said they would text. Around half stated that they could do other activities with their phones like using social media, checking emails and using video and picture apps. 42 percent stated they chat with others via video.

Obviously, this is a warning to both drivers and those who are walking in parking lots or garages to pay stricter attention to what they are doing. However, these accidents still occur and will continue to occur as long as drivers are under the impression that they can multitask. If a car accident happens and there are injuries or fatalities, those affected need to make sure to accrue evidence and discuss the matter with an attorney to consider a lawsuit.

Source: CBS News, "Why hundreds are killed in crashes in parking lots and garages every year," Nov. 21, 2016

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