Distracted Driving Injures Thousands, Kills Hundreds in Parking Lots, Garages Each Year
People tend to think of car accidents as something that only happens out on the road, but the dangers of distracted driving is a deadly problem that injures thousands and kills hundreds each year.
According to the National Safety Council, distracted driving is a major issue in parking garages, perhaps because drivers feel these areas are less likely to be dangerous than driving on roads. Approximately two-thirds of all drivers drive in parking lots while distracted, the National Safety Council is reporting. And a whopping one-in-five car accidents happen in parking lots, CBS News is reporting.
Research has shown that the slower speeds at which cars move in both parking lots and garages tends to give drivers a false sense of security, causing them to allow distractions that they would be more wary of out on the road or highway.
The National Safety Council is aware of and concerned about this issue.
“It’s just as dangerous to be distracted in a parking lot going 5 mph as it is going 50 mph,” National Safety Council president Deborah Hersman told CBS News.
It’s not just drivers who are distracted by texting and phone calls on cell phones, but pedestrians are more distracted, as well.
“People have their heads down, they’re on their phones whether they’re behind the wheel or whether they are pedestrians. There’s just a lot of inattention out there,” Hersman said.
Distracted driving can stem from a number of things, but the leading cause of distracted driving is the cellphone. Both texting and phone calls are likely to distract drivers from their task.
And while accidents in parking lots and garages tend to be at much slower speeds than accidents on the freeway, these incidents can still be extremely harmful and even deadly.
A tragic example is an accident last month when a driver in a parking lot hit a mother pushing her 15-month-old baby in a stroller. The mother, age 24, died from the accident, while the baby survived.
Accidents like this are not uncommon. Research from the National Safety Council has found that, in the 50,000 car crashes in parking lots and garages per year, around 60,000 suffer injuries. On top of this, 500 or even more die in these accidents.
Public opinion about the dangers of distracted driving in parking lots is surprisingly relaxed. According to a recent survey, around 66 percent of drivers are comfortable making calls while driving in a parking lot. More than half of drivers feel comfortable texting in this context.
Just about half of drivers are comfortable performing other tasks on their phones while driving in the parking lot, including sending emails, taking pictures, using various social media platforms, or even watching videos. Even more drastically, forty-two percent of drivers said they would be comfortable in a video chat.
If you or someone you know has been injured by distracted driving in a parking lot or garage, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact The Emma Law Firm for a FREE case evaluation by filling out the form below.