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Potential risks in parking lots this winter season

Why would motorists think that the general traffic rules do not apply in parking lots? Each year, thousands of injury-causing accidents occur in parking lots in Springfield and across Illinois and the rest of the United States. During the colder season, you and your family will be at an increased risk when you make your way across parking lots.

According to the National Safety Council, public opinion polls indicated that distractions are the primary cause of parking lot accidents. About two-thirds of respondents nationwide replied that they frequently make cell phone calls while they drive in parking lots.

Other distractions

Analysis of the polls also shows that significant numbers of drivers use their phones for the following purposes while driving in parking lots:

  • Using social media
  • Programming GPS systems
  • Sending and receiving emails
  • Texting
  • Watching videos
  • Taking photos

Personal grooming also serves as a distraction, but more so among teenagers than adults, and checking to-do lists are prevalent among shoppers — distracting both motorists and pedestrians.

Safety tips

According to Illinois police, the following safety tips might prevent accidents that could cause severe injuries or worse:

  • Use directional signals and drive slowly
  • Obey no-parking and stop signs
  • Stay in the appropriate lanes
  • Do not cut across parking lots
  • Be alert and watch other drivers to anticipate their actions
  • Look out for parents with strollers or toddlers on foot
  • Be mindful of both pedestrians and vehicles when backing out of parking bays

Many parking lot incidents result from people with too much to do and too little time, rushing about without considering the accident risks.

Slip or trip-and-fall hazards

A significant number of parking lot accidents result from walking surfaces with cracks and potholes. Poor lighting, debris, and ice or snow hazards can also cause pedestrian injuries — circumstances that can be worse when a pedestrian falls into the path of a motorist.

Your legal rights

A fall in a parking lot can be a whole lot more serious than the embarrassment of the moment, and being struck by a vehicle can cause long-term health problems, even if the car moved at a low speed. Would you know whether you have grounds to pursue damage recovery in a civil lawsuit?

This is where the support and guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney can be an invaluable asset in your corner. Not all cases involve negligent drivers, and when injuries result from neglected walkways and unnatural accumulations of snow and ice, proving negligence might be challenging. Legal counsel can assess the circumstances and determine whom to name as defendants, and advocate for you throughout ensuing legal proceedings.