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How to stay safe while walking in parking lots

You may think car accidents only happen on roads, whether busy highways or winding country lanes. However, parking lots do get their share ofcar-pedestrian accidents. Designers tend to create the lots to be vehicle-friendly and put less focus on walkability and pedestrian safety. Here is a primer on how to stay safe while walking in parking lots.

Act like you would on the street

When strolling in a parking lot, pretend you are on the street and check your surroundings. Look up and around before crossing an area where cars drive. If possible, take advantage of sidewalks and crosswalks. Also, hold off on texting because cellphones can be a dangerous distraction.

Give cars extra space

Many drivers in parking lots do not see pedestrians. Drivers may be in reverse, dealing with blind spots, chatting with passengers or unwinding after a busy shopping trip. In any case, give cars ample room when you walk around them because you cannot count on drivers to see you.

Be choosy about your parking spot

It is a good idea to park among many cars, especially if you will be away from your vehicle for a long time. That way, when you return to your car later, you are less at risk of being mugged, for example. Keep to populated and well-lit areas when feasible.

Educate children

Due to their small size, children can be especially at risk in parking lots. Educate them about the need to stay close to you, and tell them about practices such as making deliberate movements (no darting!) and using crosswalks. It is also helpful to model good behavior because taking a risky shortcut could send children the wrong idea.

Keep the group together

Staying in a group provides more parking lot visibility than a single walker or even two walkers. For example, if a family drives to the mall with the aim of splitting up to shop, it is safer to walk inside the mall together, and then the members can go their separate ways. 

Many pedestrian accidents in parking lots are serious. If you have been hit by a car while walking through a parking lot, an attorney may be able to help.

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