Finding parking in Los Angeles can be stressful. We’ve all been in a situation where our competitive drive to nab that corner spot has lead us to make dangerous decisions behind the wheel.
Parking lot accidents are more common than you think. Just last week, my office signed up a client who was injured in a parking lot when a driver relying on his backup camera backed right into her car. Here are a few tips on how to prevent parking lot accidents, from your Los Angeles car accident lawyer.
Most parking lots in the City are overcrowded. Cars are lined up waiting for a spot. Pedestrians are pushing shopping carts, letting their minds wander. Excited children are probably unaware of their surroundings and may dart out unexpectedly.
So please slow down!
It’s a good idea to coast when driving in a parking lot to give you time to react to any of the contingencies that come up on a daily basis, such as children racing shopping carts or their mom who can’t separate from her iPhone. They may not see you–but you can and should see them.
Use Your Signals
Are you waiting for the parking spot to your left to open up, but holding up traffic behind you? Turn on your signal and let the cars behind you know. Stick your hand out the window and motion to the spot you intend to take.
Communicating your intentions to those around you is a great way to avoid accidents. That impatient driver behind you will hopefully not try and zip around you when he realizes that you’re actually stopped for a purpose–to get the adjacent spot. And this leads me to the next tip.
Do Not Pass!
It may seem like the car ahead of you has been stopped forever. But angrily pulling out of line and stepping on it to get around her is a sure way to get you into trouble. What if you misjudge how much time you have and end up slamming into the reversing car up ahead?
Don’t let your anger get the best of you. Take a deep breath. We all finding parking, eventually. If you must pass, do so slowly and reasonably.
Back Out Of Your Spot
Sometimes you’ll be in a situation where there are a line of cars behind you, obstructing your path, but the spot in front of you is clear. You might be tempted in this situation to drive forward through the open spot, instead of waiting for the line of cars behind you to clear.
Bad idea! Most drivers in parking lots are on the lookout for reversing cars, but will not be expecting a car to accelerate forward out of a spot.
What if you’re beginning to turn left into that open spot, only to collide head-on with the car who moved forward instead of backwards? Backing out of a parking spot can help avoid this hazardous scenario.
Don’t Rely On Your Backup Camera!
I’ve discussed this issue before, but it bears repeating. Parking lots are full of spaced out shoppers! Many of them are on their phones and not paying attention to their surroundings. They often walk very close to parked cars. If you are only relying on your backup camera, it won’t warn you in time to prevent a collision.
Turn around and look out your back window when backing up in a parking lot.
And if you’re walking in a parking lot, be predictable to drivers. Don’t dart out or run. Be visible, and cross at the designated path.
Stay safe, and do not hesitate to call the Rabbi Lawyer for questions about your case!