In an ongoing effort to ensure client safety is at the forefront of our priorities, we continuously monitor trends and gather information to give knowledge to help each of you be as safe as possible. Here at Higgins Insurance we have seen a spike in claims related to parking lot accidents over the past few months.
We met with Sgt. Evan Scott, Traffic Services of the Kennebecasis Regional Police Force, to get some advice on how to avoid accidents in parking lots. Parking Lot Safety Tips:
- Find the safest place to park. If possible, don’t park too close to the entrance. There are more available empty spaces further away.
- If possible, pull forward in your parking spot such that you are now facing out. If not, back up safely into your spot. When you leave you will be able to see what is in front of you.
- Drive slowly, follow traffic lanes.
- Don’t cut across parking lots – parking lots are constantly jammed with cars, shopping carts, and people moving.
- There is a lot of action happening in parking lots: drivers backing up, pulling through, and turning out. So it’s important to be on alert for bikers, vehicles, pedestrians, and shopping carts.
- Be careful when you open your door if another car is going by.
- Don’t drive in circles – many people will drive around a parking lot searching for a spot closest to the entrance. The entrances are where traffic is heaviest and you’re more likely to collide with another vehicle.
- Choose your neighbour—If you have a choice, park next to a four-door car rather than a two-door. Two door cars have longer, heavier doors. Meaning they’re more likely to ding the car beside them.
- If you do have the misfortune to be involved in a parking lot accident, try to track down a witness. There are many that believe in the myth that accidents in parking lots always have 50/50 responsibility/fault. Whether you’re on the highway or in a parking lot, the same rules apply. Any car traveling in the lane will always have the right of way. If your car is hit while parked, you’re likely not at fault. A witness could give details to help you prove you were not at fault. A dash cam, could also help.
- If you are involved in a parking lot accident, exchange insurance information with the driver of the other vehicle. If possible, gather contact information from others who witnessed the accident. Take photos of the accident. Call your insurance company to report the accident as soon as it is safe to do so. Taking these steps can help determine who’s at fault in parking lot accidents and will aid in having your claim experience go as smoothly as possible.
Special thanks to Sgt. Evan Scott of the Kennebecasis Regional Police Department.