Every day, pedestrians encounter motorists in mall parking lots, shopping plazas, and workplace parking lots across Philadelphia. Even when traveling at low speeds, drivers can seriously injure or kill pedestrians.
Research shows that pedestrians are at a 10 percent risk of being seriously injured by a driver traveling at a speed of 16 mph. The risk raises to 25 percent at 23 mph and 50 percent at 31 mph.
In September 2019, three women were struck in a business parking lot in South Philadelphia, according to NBC Philadelphia. A surveillance camera captured the incident. The video shows the three women walking up a small stairway to the business entrance when a driver barreled into them in reverse. The women were taken to a nearby hospital. Two of them were in critical condition and one in stable condition.
The driver of the car remained at the scene of the crash and cooperated with the police. No charges were filed and the cause of the crash was subject to an investigation.
Distracted driving, a leading cause of pedestrian injuries in parking lots
Hundreds of fatalities and thousands of injuries happen in parking lots each year, despite the lower speeds drivers travel. The majority of people injured in parking lots are pedestrians. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), distracted driving is the leading cause of collisions in parking lots involving pedestrians. Here's why:
- Drivers tend to be more relaxed in parking lots, as opposed to high-speed roadways.
- Drivers are more likely to be distracted in commercial parking lots, like malls and plazas, especially when looking for a specific store.
- A 2016 NCS poll finds that drivers are more likely to use cellphones in parking lots than anywhere else. In the poll, drivers admitted that they would do the following in parking lots:
- Make phone calls (66%)
- Program GPS navigation (63%)
- Send or read text messages (56%)
- Scroll through social media (52%)
- Take pictures or watch videos (49%)
Distracted driving isn't the only peril pedestrians face in parking lots. Unlike major roads, the rows of parked cars can make it difficult for drivers to see pedestrians around the corner when turning. In addition, drivers and workers in delivery trucks who are in a hurry are more likely to speed or fail to yield to pedestrians.
Rules Of parking lot Etiquette
In order to better protect pedestrians, the NSC suggests that drivers do the following:
- Stay in the correct lane. Do not cut across lots or parking spaces.
- Drive at a speed that is safe and prudent.
- Be aware of the movements of other drivers and pedestrians.
- If a parking lot has stop signs or other traffic signals, obey them.
- Be extra careful of small children and parents pushing baby strollers.
The National Motorists Association says that drivers should travel at a speed no greater than 15 mph in parking lots, even if no speed limits are posted.
If you were struck while walking in a parking lot, you have the right to pursue a legal claim against the driver and his or her insurance company. Doing so, however, requires the help of a strong legal advocate. That's where the Philadelphia attorneys at The Hanamirian Firm, PC come in.
Our experienced legal team knows how to investigate collisions with pedestrians, especially in parking lots where incidents are captured by surveillance cameras and witnesses are present. We can take on the insurance companies and fight for a fair settlement to cover your medical expenses, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering. To get started, contact us online for a free consultation.