When people hear about car accidents and auto-pedestrian accidents in California, their first thought may not be that it occurred in a parking lot. However, a surprising number of accidents involving people and cars do take place in parking lots and most are completely preventable had one or both parties been a bit more vigilant. 

Practicing awareness and minimizing activities or behaviors that can cause distraction is not the sole responsibility of drivers or pedestrians, but the responsibility of both parties to practice. According to Consumer Reports, one big reason that drivers are distracted is that their attention is focused on finding a place to park their vehicles. Their efforts to multitask and drive while scanning the area for a desirable place to stop their car may cause them to unintentionally block out other things happening around them that they would otherwise notice. 

Children are another component that can increase the need for both drivers and pedestrians to be aware of their surroundings in a parking lot. Parents may not notice one of their children wandering if they are loading or unloading others from their vehicles. Additionally, a child can be difficult to see and if he or she suddenly appears from between two parked vehicles, a driver may have minimal time to react to avoid hitting the child. As such, parents should educate their children about how to behave in parking lots and around moving vehicles. They should also enforce rules and be aware of their children’s whereabouts to prevent a tragic accident from happening. 

Allstate Insurance suggests that drivers pay extra attention to the area around their vehicle when they are backing out of a parking stall. For newer vehicles, the use of a backup camera can be effective in helping drivers to recognize if a person or hazard is behind their vehicle. Even then, drivers should look over their shoulders and utilize their mirrors to check blind spots for pedestrians they may not have previously noticed.