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The overlooked danger of parking lots

When most people think of car accidents, they imagine two vehicles hitting each other on the street or highway. However, a large portion of accidents occurs in parking lots and garages when vehicles are moving at relatively slow speeds. In fact, CBS News reported that nearly one out of every five collisions occurs in a parking lot. 

There are many ways cars can collide in a parking lot. They can back into one another, or a vehicle can hit another by pulling out of a space too quickly. These may seem relatively minor, but every year fatalities take place in lots and parking structures. Drivers need to remain vigilant even when driving slowly.

Why are accidents likely to take place in lots?

Distracted driving is a huge culprit, especially in parking lots. When entering or leaving one of these structures, drivers still need to keep both eyes on the roadway. Many drivers will mess with the radio or text someone really quick when in a parking lot because they think it is safe. Other drivers engage in risky behavior because they assume it will be fine in a lot. 

For parking structures, accidents occur when one driver takes a corner too aggressively. Drivers should follow all of the structure's signs and pay attention if a vehicle backs out. 

What are some tips for avoiding parking lot crashes?

The simplest advice is to simply remain vigilant. Drivers should text people before starting the car. They should also handle the GPS before heading out.

It is also helpful if drivers assume that parking lots are not inherently safe. Even if you leave a parking structure late at night, there is still the potential for other vehicles to be around. Staying vigilant is also helpful for watching out for pedestrians. People frequently need to walk across lots, and you do not want to accidentally back into a person. 

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