Distracted driving in parking lots is a widespread problem, according to a new poll from the National Safety Council (NSC).
Many drivers admitted to using their smartphones and other electronic devices for a variety of purposes while driving around parking lots, putting themselves, other drivers and pedestrians in danger.
According to the poll, 66 percent of drivers make phone calls and 56 percent send or look at text messages while driving in parking lots.
Drivers also said they take their focus off the road to do the following things while in parking lots:
- Use email (50 percent)
- Program a GPS device (63 percent)
- Read or post to social media (52 percent)
- Take pictures or video (49 percent)
- Use a smartwatch (43 percent)
- Use the internet (43 percent)
- Video chat (42 percent)
The poll also found teenagers are less likely to watch videos, use a laptop or tablet, or talk on the phone compared to adults. However, teenagers are more likely than adults to groom themselves while driving through parking lots.
It is likely that distracted driving is a major contributor to the approximately 50,000 crashes that occur in parking lots and parking garages each year. These accidents result in an average of 60,000 injuries and more than 500 lives lost each year.
Drivers may be operating under the false assumption that they are safer in parking lots simply because they are traveling at slower speeds. However, parking lots are high-traffic areas that require drivers to pay close attention, says Deborah A.P. Hersman, CEO and president of the NSC.
The NSC encourages drivers to use their vehicles’ advanced safety features and driver assistance systems, such as backup cameras. These devices greatly reduce the risk of a crash when drivers are backing up – these types of crashes kill 51 people each year.
Distracted driving in parking lots is particularly risky during this time of year, as parking lots will be full of motorists and pedestrians doing holiday shopping. You should exercise extra caution to avoid a potentially deadly accident.
If you suffer an injury or lose a loved one in a parking lot crash involving a distracted driver, contact our car crash attorneys for a free legal consultation.
If you have a valid claim, we can fight for fair compensation for the damages you have suffered, including hospital bills, lost wages and other damages.