When thinking of parking lots, one normally does not think of potential hazards associated with it. Parking lots are designed for vehicles and not pedestrians. Therefore, hazards are everywhere. The National Safety Council’s Journal of Safety Research reported 2,057 work-related deaths on company parking lots between 1993 and 2003. Both pedestrians and drivers should view parking lots as if they were streets and intersections. After all, they do have set speed limits and have the same traffic markings to indicate traffic patterns. Below are safety tips for both pedestrian and drivers to follow when using parking lots.
- Be cautious and aware of your surroundings when walking in a parking lot.
- Do not assume that drivers can see you when you can see them. In many cases, the pedestrian sees and hears a vehicle before a driver can see the pedestrian due to blind spots in vehicles.
- Treat the parking lot like a street. Look both ways before crossing, use crosswalks, and always use sidewalks whenever possible.
- Walk down the parking lots aisles and not in-between vehicles when walking to and from your vehicle.
- Try to avoid areas where it would be hard for a driver to see you , for instance in loading dock areas. Try to walk in groups when in a parking lot, it makes it easier for driver to see.
- In bad weather like snow, wear proper footwear to provide adequate traction to avoid slipping and falling.
- When looking for a place to park, park further away where there is less pedestrian and vehicle traffic.
- Whenever possible, avoid being in reverse. More incidents happen in reverse due to not knowing your surroundings.
- Pull all the way through the parking space to avoid being reverse when leaving. If you cannot, now is the time to back into the space, since you have had to time check the surroundings.
- Drivers of motorcycles and bicycles are to follow the same traffic rules as drivers of vehicle.
- Slow Down! The speed limit is 10 mph in the parking lots. Any faster speeds may result in a fatal injury to a pedestrian.
- Reduce speeds in bad weather. In wet weather, vehicle have a higher chance of skidding.
- Be cautious in parking garages. They have tight spaces and low clearance. Older parking garage may not be able to handle today’s large vehicle so drive cautiously. Also, it is harder to spot pedestrians in parking garage.