Parking Lot Safety Tips
Parking lots pose a variety of safety hazards for both drivers and pedestrians. There are some common practices that will reduce the risk of being in an accident. We want you to be safe, in and out of campus. This list provides practical advice on ways to avoid causing accidents and how to watch out for other drivers and pedestrians.
Distracted driving is anything that takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road or your mind off driving. It can include texting, putting on makeup, eating, tuning the radio, or checking your phone’s navigation system. In fact, “inattentive” was the top distraction among drivers. Distracted driving crashes made up more than 12 percent of all crashes in Florida in 2015.
Many accidents are the result of distracted drivers who reach for their cell phone, turn their attention to their friends in the car or otherwise take their attention away from driving. Avoid doing anything before coming to a complete stop and turning the vehicle off. It’s a good idea to turn the radio down or off before entering busy parking areas to remain alert to surrounding sounds.
Drivers often cause accidents when they are running late to class as they attempt to beat another student to a parking spot. This is very dangerous because as drivers speed to reach a spot they don’t pay attention to their surroundings. Speeding cars can inadvertently hit other cars that are backing out or hit pedestrians that step out into the lane. We suggest you take your time, be alert and be patient when looking for a parking spot.
Choose a Spot
Sometimes the best parking spots aren’t necessarily the most convenient, but they could be safer. Avoid parking in the very first or last spot on an aisle. They may be convenient to pull into but vehicles in these spots are more likely to be involved in an accident from the main flow of traffic.
Our number one safety suggestion is to stay alert to what is going on around you. While walking, never dart in between cars or walk aimlessly into traffic as you send a text on your phone. Similarly, never assume that a vehicle will stop for you, even at a stop sign or crosswalk. When leaving a parking area, never pull forward into another parking space, as another car may be pulling in. Additionally, always back out very slowly, looking behind you at all times. Never assume that just because it’s clear the first time you look that it will remain clear.