Parking lot accidents are far more common than you might think. All of
the hustle and bustle in an average parking lot means a relatively large
number of cars are backing up and people are walking around in just a
small amount of space. If people are not careful, it is easy to get into a
collision. Severe injuries can even occur in a parking lot accident if a
pedestrian is involved, or a driver was moving at a high speed.
In addition to being unexpectedly common, parking lot accidents are also
unexpectedly complex. Figuring out liability in such a busy space can
be difficult, but knowing the right-of-way in an average parking lot helps.
In a parking lot, the following right-of-way scenarios and rules exist:
Prioritize pedestrians: People on foot always have the right-of-way in any traffic situation. You
will rarely come across a jaywalker while driving along the street, but
pedestrians are literally all around you in a parking lot. Give them ample
space as you move through the parking lot. Try to make eye contact with
any nearby pedestrian, which reaffirms awareness of the situation for you both.
Yield when exiting: When you are leaving a parking spot, whether you are backing up or pulling
out directly, you do not have the right-of-way. Other vehicles moving
through the lane take priority. Yield to any approaching vehicles, even
if you are halfway out of your spot. Once again, establish eye contact
and get a visual confirmation from the other driver that it is acceptable
for you to continue leaving your space with them fully stopped.
Right turns have right-of-way: Drivers on streets and highways use the right side of the road, and so
the same expectation is set for vehicles in parking lots. As a result,
anyone turning right to enter a parking spot has right-of-way over people
turning left for the same spot at the same time.
Low speed limits: If there is no posted speed limit in a parking lot, the maximum speed
limit is likely 15 miles per hour. However, when pedestrians are nearby,
the speed should be reduced to 5 or 10 miles per hour. A driver who is
speeding in a parking lot may assume liability in case a parking lot accident occurs.
No distractions or drinking: It is illegal to operate a vehicle in a parking lot while
intoxicated. Using a smartphone or engaging in another form of
driver distraction can also considerably spike a driver’s liability in a crash.
Call Florida Personal Injury Attorney Wes Pittman at (850) 764-0383
Figuring out if you are liable for a parking lot accident can be stressful,
especially if you are trying to recuperate from an injury like whiplash.
To get the guesswork and legwork out of your
injury claim, come to The Pittman Firm, P.A. The firm’s legal team accepts
auto accident cases from all around Florida and has 30+ years of legal experience to
put to good use for your case.
Want to know more? Arrange a no-cost, no-obligation consultationnow.