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Prevent parking lot accidents with these tips

Parking lots are one of the areas that people tend to feel safest. Cars aren't usually being driven through them at high speeds, and most vehicles aren't moving at all. Pedestrians can walk around the lot without many risks, and when cars are coming, they're usually easy to see.

Despite this general outlook, parking lot accidents do happen and can cause pedestrians serious injuries. Cars aren't the only hazards to look out for, either.

Drivers should always be on the lookout for pedestrians. They may not look when crossing the lot, for instance, because they have the right of way in a crossing zone. Drivers should always keep to the parking lot's speed limit and make sure to stop at all crosswalks, even if no pedestrians appear to be ready to cross.

Drivers approaching vehicles in the parking lot need to be wary as well. Families unloading to go inside may have small children who run into the parking lot unexpectedly. Pets could come charging out of the vehicle, or someone could back into the roadway on accident as they move to return a cart.

For those backing out or pulling into parking spaces, prepare for pedestrians to cross behind or in front of you. There are not many spaces to walk alongside vehicles other than the lane, so pedestrians may have to go around parked cars to get to different aisles. Drivers should be aware that a pedestrian could be getting into a vehicle or walking across a parking space when they pull into it.

If drivers take the time to be cautious, pedestrian accidents can be avoided in parking lots. Slow speeds can save lives and prevent tedious litigation.

Source: StateFarm, "Prevent Parking Lot Accidents," Nate Granzow, accessed Aug. 02, 2016

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