Most car accidents do not happen on highways or even in city streets. They occur in parking lots. In the United States the National Safety Council (NSC) reports that one in four car accidents happen in parking lots. That’s over 500000 accidents each year.
Why are so many accidents happening in parking lots?
The NSC says that the majority of parking lot accidents are caused by distracted driving such as talking on a cell phone texting or fiddling with the radio. Other causes include drivers backing out of their parking spaces without looking or pulling into a space without looking to see if another car is coming.
There are also a number of pedestrian accidents in parking lots. The NSC reports that 15 percent of all pedestrian fatalities happen in parking lots. Most of these accidents happen when a pedestrian is hit by a car backing out of a space.
Many of these accidents could be prevented if drivers paid more attention to their surroundings. The NSC offers the following safety tips for drivers:
1. Put down your phone and other distractions.
2. When backing out of a space look behind you and to the sides. Use your mirrors and turn your head to make sure there are no pedestrians or other vehicles in your way.
3. When pulling into a space also look around to make sure there are no pedestrians or other vehicles in your way.
4. Slow down when driving in parking lots. The speed limit in most parking lots is 5 mph.
5. Be extra careful when backing out of a space in a crowded parking lot. It may take longer to find a gap in traffic.
6. Be patient. If someone is driving slowly in front of you don’t honk or try to pass them. They may be looking for a parking space.
7. Use caution when walking in parking lots. Pay attention to your surroundings and watch for cars backing out of spaces.
8. If you have children with you keep them close. Hold their hand when walking in parking lots.
The NSC also offers the following safety tips for pedestrians:
1. Pay attention to your surroundings. Don’t be distracted by your phone or other electronic devices.
2. Walk on sidewalks whenever possible. If there is no sidewalk walk on the shoulder of the road facing traffic.
3. Look both ways before crossing a parking lot.
4. Never assume a driver sees you. Make eye contact with drivers before crossing in front of them.
5. Wear bright or reflective clothing so you can be seen at night.
6. Be extra careful when walking around vehicles. Drivers may not see you.
7. If you are walking with children hold their hand and teach them to look both ways before crossing.
What is the leading cause of car accidents in the United States?
The leading cause of car accidents is distracted driving.
How many car accidents happen in the United States each year?
About six million car accidents happen in the United States each year.
How many car accidents involve distracted driving?
Nearly one in four car accidents involve distracted driving.
What are the most common distractions for drivers?
The most common distractions for drivers are using a cell phone eating or drinking talking to passengers and daydreaming.
How can I avoid being distracted while driving?
You can avoid being distracted while driving by putting your cell phone away not eating or drinking focusing on the road and avoiding anything that takes your attention away from driving.
What are the consequences of distracted driving?
The consequences of distracted driving can be minor such as a warning ticket or major such as a car accident.
Is distracted driving against the law in all states?
No distracted driving is not against the law in all states but it is against the law in some states.
What are the states where distracted driving is against the law?
The states where distracted driving is against the law are Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin and Wyoming.
What is the penalty for distracted driving in states where it is against the law?
The penalty for distracted driving in states where it is against the law can be a fine points on your license or both.
Are there any other ways to avoid being distracted while driving?
Yes there are other ways to avoid being distracted while driving such as turning off your cell phone putting it in a place where you can’t reach it asking a passenger to help you with something or pulling over if you need to do something that takes your attention away from driving.
What are some of the other causes of car accidents?
Some of the other causes of car accidents are speeding driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol fatigue weather conditions and hazardous road conditions.
How can I avoid being in a car accident?
You can avoid being in a car accident by being a defensive driver obeying the speed limit not driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol not driving when you are tired and being aware of the weather and road conditions.
What should I do if I am in a car accident?
You should stay at the scene of the accident exchange information with the other driver and contact the police.
What are some of the consequences of being in a car accident?
Some of the consequences of being in a car accident are injuries property damage and death.
How can I avoid being in a car accident in a parking lot?
You can avoid being in a car accident in a parking lot by being aware of your surroundings driving slowly and being cautious when backing up.