Parking lots are often taken for granted; you drive in, park your vehicle, and get out–easy peasy–or so we think. What most people don’t know is that parking lots have their own set of dangers. Both pedestrians and vehicles are at risk of getting into an accident. Some may be more serious than others; but the less serious ones are still causes for concern. Fortunately, there are a few simple safety principles you can follow to avoid any mishaps.
Personal disputes, heated arguments with strangers over parking space, pickpocketing, purse snatching–all these are only some of the incidents that may result in violence.
Dimly lit areas and the presence of so many objects that may impede the view of pedestrians and drivers alike make it a likely arena for acts of violence. To avoid such acts, the following safety measures are recommended:
- Park close to your building or in a well-lit and/or populated area.
- Avoid parking near large vehicles.
- If you’re not taking them with you, hide items that might invite theft (e.g. gadgets, bags, and purses).
Trips, Slips, and Falls
Though this might not sound as alarming as violence in the parking lot, this is a falls resulting from tripping and slipping can lead to serious injuries, particularly for the very young and the very old. The following should be dealt with immediately.
1. Cracks and Holes
Due to the amount of use they get, parking lots can degrade very quickly. Cracks and holes in the pavement or grates can appear almost instantly.
There are two simple solutions to this: maintenance and repair. Proper maintenance will make sure these issues are fixed before they worsen; but if anything untoward like a collision occurs or if bad weather conditions disfigure the space, the building owner should repair the parking lot. Repair by Fort York Paving, The Parking Lot Guys Inc., Rose Paving Canada are quality services and are readily available when needed.
2. Spills and Leaks.
Oil spills and antifreeze leaks are not uncommon in a parking lot, but they do increase the chances of a pedestrian slipping and falling. The best way to deal with this is for pedestrians themselves to pay attention to their surroundings and for those in charge of the parking lot clean any spillage immediately.
3. Speed Bumps and Tire Stops
Though they might be necessary to the overall functionality of the parking lot, they can be dangerous to pedestrians, particularly in areas without proper lighting.
To avoid having anyone trip on these, the following should be observed by the administrators of the building:
- Increasing visibility by installing more lighting fixtures, painting speed bumps and tire stops in contrasting colors, and adding signs wherever speed bumps are located
- Following the standard design regulations
- Observing regular maintenance
Pedestrians are also advised to watch their step and to keep to the designated walking areas.
Getting Hit by a Vehicle
Just because pedestrians aren’t about to walk across a high-speed roadway, it doesn’t mean they aren’t facing any risks. Because of the limited visibility in parking lots, people in parking lots can still get hit by slow moving vehicles.
Pedestrians can avoid these mishaps by:
- Paying attention to any passing or approaching vehicle
- Walking within designated areas
- Using the crosswalk
- Not assuming that the driver sees them and keeping out of the way of moving vehicles
- Not using any device or gadget that might distract them while they’re walking
Bumps and Crashes
A common roadway accident, vehicles bumping or crashing into each other is also one of the dangers a driver needs to look out for when in a parking lot. Collisions can occur for a variety of reasons:
- Vehicles backing up into each other
- Vehicles competing for the same parking space
- A vehicle leaving a parking space and bumping into the vehicle trying to get in
- A moving vehicle colliding with one at full stop
These, however, can be avoided by:
- Paying attention to the surroundings
- Driving within parking lot speed limit
- Following parking signs
- Avoiding distractions like texting or calling when driving
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