Parking garage safety: Tips to avoid accidents
Car Accident - September 11, 2023
If you have been hit by another vehicle in a parking garage, you have the right to pursue compensation for your damages. An experienced Chicago car accident lawyer can help you understand your next steps, but in the meantime, keep reading to learn a few parking garage safety tips.
Why are parking garage accidents so serious?
Safe driving in parking garages is essential. Even though drivers may not be traveling at speeds as high as they do on regular roadways, highways, or interstates, parking garages can pose a severe threat to pedestrians. Unfortunately, far too many drivers let their guard down when driving through a parking garage.
However, these areas require complete concentration since pedestrians are often walking in between vehicles and do not have access to crosswalks in most cases. As much as 66% of motorists report taking phone calls while driving through a parking garage, according to a poll by the National Safety Council. These distractions and the often confusing layout of parking garages make them one of the most dangerous areas for motorists, passengers, and pedestrians alike.
Parking garage safety tips
Parking garage safety may seem like common sense, but there are many tips and tricks you can utilize to protect yourself, your passengers, and pedestrians in the parking garage.
Hold your lane
Not every parking garage will have designated lanes, but many do. This is particularly true in areas where parking garages shift floors, vehicles are entering or exiting the parking garage, and in high-traffic areas. Hold your lane wherever possible, but be cautious of pedestrians who may be walking in the middle of the lanes of traffic.
Never drive distracted
Distracted driving is one of the biggest causes of concern in parking garages. If you hope to protect yourself and your passengers, never use your cell phone while navigating a parking garage. You should not take phone calls, send messages, check social media accounts, or do anything else on your phone. In fact, cell phone use while driving could result in traffic tickets or citations and increase the potential to be found liable in a car accident claim.
Follow parking garage directional signs
Parking garages will often have directional signs that allow you to navigate the parking garage more effectively and efficiently. These signs will tell you which lanes lead to parking spots, which ones lead you out of the parking garage, which areas are closed off to traffic, which areas are “one way,” and how fast you can reasonably drive, usually no more than 5 to 10 mph.
Be aware of your surroundings
Anytime you are operating a motor vehicle, you should be aware of your surroundings. However, since parking garages are more compact and have multiple intersections and lanes of traffic traveling in and out of the garage, it is especially important to be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you keep an eye out for directional signs, pedestrians, stop signs, traffic lights, and other vehicles that may be traveling in the opposite direction.
Although you might believe you are driving slowly at 25 or 30 mph, when you are in a parking garage, your speed should be dramatically reduced. You should never go more than 15 mph in a parking garage, as the risk of injury or death to a pedestrian is far too great. Even relatively low rates of speed can cause devastating injuries, particularly if you were to crash into a cement wall.
Pull through whenever possible
If you can pull through a parking spot instead of backing out, you should do so. If you back out of a parking spot in a parking garage, you could have major blind spots that impact your ability to see incoming or outgoing traffic and pedestrians. If you cannot pull through parking spaces, take the time to reverse park so you can drive forward out of your parking spot without having to back up.
Connect with a Chicago parking garage accident lawyer today
Even if you follow the previously mentioned parking garage safety tips, you cannot control how other drivers drive. When other motorists in parking garages fail to drive safely, they can cause debilitating and life-threatening injuries.
If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a parking garage accident, and you do not know where to turn for help, reach out to an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates. Schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as today when you complete our quick contact form or call our office at (800) 985-1819.