When you think about auto accidents, a parking lot is probably not the first thing that comes to mind. However, research shows that approximately 1 out of 5 auto accidents happen in parking lots, meaning claims for parking lot accidents are rising.
Of course, many of these accidents are considered minor, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. That’s why it’s essential to understand the risks associated with parking lots and what you should do in case of an accident.
Common Causes of Accidents in Parking Lots
Public parking lots are chaotic places. Between drivers, passengers, and pedestrians, it’s easy to get in an accident. Some of the most common causes of parking lot accidents include:
Backing Out and Hitting a Pedestrian or Cyclist
One of the most common causes of parking lot accidents is backing out of a parking space and hitting a pedestrian or cyclist. When this happens, the driver is often at fault. You must ensure that your vehicle is clear of pedestrians or cyclists before backing out of your parking space.
Backing Out of a Spot and Hitting a Parked Car
Another common cause of parking lot accidents is backing out of a parking space and hitting a parked car. Just like with backing out of parking spaces and hitting pedestrians or cyclists, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that their vehicle is clear of parked cars before backing out. If you don’t, chances are you will be found at fault for the accident and all damages.
Colliding with Another Car When Backing Out at the Same Time
Backing out of a parking space simultaneously with another vehicle is one of the most dangerous causes of parking lot accidents. Both drivers are at fault when this happens as there is no real way to claim “right of way” when backing out of a parking space.
When you are backing out of a parking space, both parties must ensure that their vehicle is clear of all other vehicles before moving. If you don’t, then you are putting other vehicles and people at risk.
Colliding with Another Car When Competing for a Parking Space
Road rage is a common cause of accidents, especially when people compete for parking in a crowded parking lot.
If you collide with another car when you are competing for a parking space, chances are that both parties will be found at fault for the accident. However, if there is concrete proof, such as eyewitnesses or security footage, then you may be able to claim that the other driver was at fault, or they may claim you were.
Either way, it is essential that you do not retaliate against the other driver, and you both need to be cooperative.
Hitting a Stationary Object (sign, parking block, etc.)
One of the most frequent causes of parking lot accidents is hitting a stationary object. These objects are often placed in parking lots to help manage traffic and ensure safety. For example, when a driver collides with a parking block, they are usually at fault for the accident.
What to Do When You’re Involved in a Parking Lot Accident
If you are involved in a parking lot accident, it is essential that you stay calm. The first thing that needs to be done is ensure everyone is safe, especially if anyone has been injured. If there are any injuries, you should call 911 and have an ambulance immediately dispatched to the scene.
If there are no injuries, the next thing that should be done is call the police. The police will need to collect evidence, such as personal information and plate numbers of all involved parties. From there, they will give directions on how to move vehicles (if possible) and where to go from there.
You should also be sure to collect any reports made and take pictures of the scene before anything is moved or cleaned up as these will prove to be very helpful in an insurance claim.
Finally, make sure you reach out to your insurance company and let them know about the accident. They may need to investigate on their own to determine the cause of the accident and whether or not you will be able to file a claim.
Protect Yourself with an Auto Insurance Policy from Higgins Insurance
It is important to protect yourself from the risk of parking lot accidents with the right auto insurance policy. Higgins Insurance offers a variety of auto insurance policies to fit your needs. Whether you are looking for full coverage, liability, or something in between, we have the right policy for you.
If you’re searching for an auto insurance policy that can help protect you and your family in the event of an accident, contact Higgins Insurance today and get your quote!