Recently, there have been two fatal pedestrian accidents in parking lots in our surrounding areas. With the first one taking place in a parking lot in Siesta Key and the most recent pedestrian parking lot fatality occurring in Bradenton, many are wondering if parking lot accidents are on the rise.
It may surprise you to learn that nationwide approximately 20 percent of pedestrian accidents occur in parking lots of supermarkets, shopping centers, malls and big box stores. According to AAA, the two contributing factors for parking lot pedestrian accidents are blind spots and poor lighting.
Although pedestrian accidents involving motor vehicles can occur just about anywhere in the Sarasota area, parking lots and parking garages are especially dangerous because there is so much freedom, uncertainty, and people are confused about the rules. For example, on the street, there are law enforcement officials, traffic lights, pedestrian signals, and crosswalks that help eliminate this confusion.
While no one knows why there has been a surge in pedestrian parking lot accidents, here are some common parking lot problems:
- There are a lot of blind spots in parking lots
- Pedestrians are walking along side moving vehicles
- Drivers are traveling too fast through parking lots
- Drivers are backing out of parking spaces too quickly without looking for pedestrians
- Pedestrians keep walking even when they see a car backing up or coming towards them
- There are many quiet hybrid vehicles that pedestrians cannot hear due to their internal combustion engine not running at low speeds
- Elderly drivers sometimes get confused between stepping on their brake pedal and mistakenly pressing their gas pedal
- Drivers can lose control of their vehicles in a split second
- Drivers and/or pedestrians can be impaired
In order to reduce your chances of being in a parking lot pedestrian collision at the Westfield Southgate mall in Sarasota or at any shopping plaza in the area, we encourage you to keep your eyes open as you walk through parking lots.
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