10 Tips For Better Parking Lot Safety
Twenty percent of all traffic accidents occur in a parking lot environment, primarily because drivers let their guard down.
After negotiating busy roads or dealing with traffic jams, motors may feel disarmed once arriving in a parking lot, particular as the speed of traffic is significantly slower.
But it is precisely this complacency that leads to over 50,000 accidents occurring in parking lots every year.
We explore why so many accidents happen in parking lots and ways drivers and property owners can make parking lots safer.
Why So Many Accidents Occur in Parking Lots
We have already highlighted that drivers are often less focused on safety upon arrival in a parking lot, primarily due to the assumption that they are safer environment than the open road.
This sense of safety is why many drivers will use a cell phone or focus on other activities rather than giving their total concentration to the environment around them/
A National Safety Council poll alarmingly reported that 66 percent of drivers said they would make phone calls while driving in parking areas. At the same time, a similar amount admits to using their phones to check social media, emails, and other messages.
Phones are one of the main reasons why accidents happen in parking lots, but they are not the only cause.
Parking lots can have confusing layouts, with multiple one-way systems that confuse drivers unaware of a particular lot's design.
Some drivers will also willfully ignore parking lot navigation or stop signs, cut across multiple open parking spaces to find a preferable spot or even drive recklessly to beat another vehicle to a vacant parking spot.
10 Tips For Better Safety in Parking Lots
Below are the top 10 safety tips selected by LotGuard's parking lot experts. They cover personal and vehicle safety.
1. Leave Your Cell Alone
As we have mentioned, phones are one of the biggest causes of distraction when driving around a parking lot.
While it can be very tempting to quickly check your messages or emails while slowly navigating around a parking lot, it will cause you to lose focus and can easily result in an accident.
2. Stay In Your Lane
When navigating around a parking lot, stay in the designated lanes. While cutting across lanes or spaces may shorten your route, it makes it incredibly unpredictable for pedestrians and other motorists to judge your direction of travel.
Staying in your lane will reduce the chances of you and another vehicle ending up in a fender bender.
3. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Parking lots have many intersections and traffic traveling in all directions. Road markings may be worn, and stop signs may be in short supply. So take care always to look both ways, and be on high alert for vehicles and pedestrians traveling from all directions.
4. Follow All Directional Signs
Stop and yield signs and directional arrows make traffic flow through parking lots safer for everyone. Keep an eye out for these signs to ensure you don't encounter any nasty surprises and limit your chances of being involved in an accident.
5. Watch Out for Pedestrians
Many parking lots will lack designated walkways for pedestrians, and they will likely be found walking across the lot and in front of vehicles.
Most pedestrians will be vigilant, but others could be distracted by the same things that distract drivers (namely, their phones), so be very aware of their movements and make sure you follow our next tip.
6. Watch Your Speed Dial
Vehicle speed can be incredibly deceptive when switching from road driving to driving in a parking lot. You may think you have slowed down sufficiently due to the drastic change in speed, but keep an eye on the speedometer. If there isn't a sign indicating a max speed limit, it is recommended to keep your speed below 15mph.
7. Back-Out Only if Necessary
Backing out of a parking spot is significantly more risky than pulling through. When backing out, several blind spots can lead to collisions or accidents.
Where possible, pull through a parking spot in front, or reverse park to avoid the need for backing out.
8. Park in Well-Lit Areas
Accidents are the only threat to your vehicle in a parking lot; they are one of the most common areas for vehicular crimes such as vandalism and theft. Parking in a well-lit area will help deter an opportunist criminal from targeting your vehicle.
It will also serve the dual purpose of illuminating the area around your vehicle, making it safer for you to spot any obstacles or hazards as you are leaving the lot.
9. Lock Your Car
The number of vehicle thefts and robberies that occur due to the owner leaving their vehicle unlocked is eye-watering.
This simple security routine can help prevent opportunist thieves from making your vehicle easy-pickings.
10. Keep Valuables Out of Sight
The most commonly stolen items from vehicles include electronic items such as phones, laptops, and GPS devices often left on display in the car.
Keeping these items out of view will prevent an opportunist thief from setting their sites on your vehicle.
Improve Parking Lot Safety with LotGuard
LotGuard mobile surveillance cameras are designed to detect, mitigate, and report any criminal activity, and enhance the security profile of any parking lot.
However, these remote surveillance units have several safety benefits too.
LotGuard's IR (infrared) cameras capture crystal clear images even in total darkness, allowing a remote operator to highlight any hazards and capture evidential footage of any accidents.
The PTZ cameras deliver full site coverage, and LotGuards can operate regardless of power availability.
We can customize the camera profile of a LotGuard unit to meet your lot's exact requirements.
This includes IR PTZ cameras, thermal cameras, license plate recognition cameras (LPR), and four-way multisensor cameras, all capable of delivering live and recorded footage through the latest LTE technology.