Drivers in parking lots assume the same thing you do. Slower speeds means a safer environment. Or does it?
An estimated 20% of car crashes take place in parking lots. Drivers in parking lots are more likely to be distracted and inattentive. They’re also faced with other cars navigating lots and pulling out as well as pedestrians appearing unexpectedly.
But there are simple solutions to help you improve parking lot safety and protect your lots.
Pedestrians, other drivers, and property are all at risk in your lots.
Drivers often disregard what they think are excessively low speed limits.
Crashes occur at higher frequency despite far lower usage than traditional streets.
The Illusion of Safety
It’s easy to ignore speeding issues in your parking lots. After all, how fast can people drive in such a limited space, with constant obstacles and other vehicles? Faster than you think. Speeding in parking lots is a surprisingly common occurrence, and one that leads to many avoidable and tragic car accidents.
When motorists ignore speed limits in parking lots, they cause a variety of issues that endanger pedestrians and other drivers, ranging from minor dents or scratches to serious injuries. Speeding can quickly become a hazard to both drivers and pedestrians alike due to their close proximity in a parking lot setting.
It’s true that cars drive slower in parking lots compared to highways or large open roads. But don’t let that illusion lull you into thinking your parking lots are safe enough.
To protect people and property, speed deterrents can be installed throughout parking lots to slow drivers and remind them that safety should always come first when navigating a busy area.
Speed humps (also called speed bumps), radar signs, and speed cameras are all effective way to heighten safety in your parking areas to remind drivers to slow down and be aware of their surroundings. It’s essential for parking lot owners to prioritize safety to maximize protection for pedestrians, drivers, and passengers.
Why parking lots are riskier than you think
Despite the fact that it may seem like parking lots are relatively low-risk environments for drivers, statistics show that they can be even more dangerous than roads and highways. Studies have estimated that up to 20% of all traffic accidents occur in parking lots. However parking lots make up only a tiny percentage of roadways, accounting for a hugely disproportionate number of crashes. Of crashes in parking lots, most take place while a vehicle is backing up or in the process of parking. 49% involve rear-end collisions, 40% are angle collisions and 11% are head-on collisions.
The National Safety Council (NSC) reported an estimated 5,000 deaths due to car crashes in parking lots and garages in a one-year period. This number is particularly concerning since fatalities on roads and highways decreased by 10% during the same time period. The idea that parking lots are safe because of slower speeds is clearly a misconception.
Parking lots are more congested than roadways. Drivers are often concentrating on trying to find a spot, making it harder to react in time to avoid a crash. The low speeds people travel at in parking areas often lead drivers to feel complacent, assuming that they are safe and don’t need to focus as much as they would on a typical roadway.
Distracted driving is a major factor in car accidents in parking lots. NSC studies have found that distracted driving was responsible for 30-50% of crashes in lots and garages. Two thirds of drivers admit to being distracted when driving in parking lots. Drivers report to using social media or email (52%), adjusting controls such as gps, music, or climate settings (63%), and even taking photos or watching videos (49%) while driving in parking areas!
Parking lots can be dangerous places to walk or drive but with the right solutions to focus driver attention and slow vehicles down, you can protect drivers and pedestrians in your lots.
The Best Protection for Your Lots
There are many ways to improve safety on your lot. Speed humps, radar signs, and speed cameras are all effective tools that have been proven to make a difference in the way people drive.
Speed humps, like the LowRider from Parking Logix, reduce the speed of vehicles, preventing them from speeding in your lots. They can be used at entrances and exits as well as throughout your lots to keep cars moving at slower, safer speeds.
Radar signs alert drivers to their speeds, providing a visual reminder to often distracted drivers. The Parking Logix SafePace Evolution sign recommended for parking lots offers features such as digit color changes and driver responsive messaging to engage with drivers and return their focus to the road to encourage safer, slower driving.
Speed cameras like the Parking Logix Guardian Awareness detect speeding vehicles and give you detailed data and images on where speeding is occurring. They are a powerful tool to enforce speed limits and encourage safer driving.