What to Know About Parking Lot Accidents

Dec 9, 2022

Parking Lot AccidentsWhen you think of car accidents, you probably picture an accident in the middle of the freeway or pulled off to the shoulder. What might not come to mind as an obvious collision are parking lot accidents. In fact, millions of parking lot accidents occur each year. While some parking lot accidents end up being quite minor, you could end up with a car accident injury. Many people tend to think that car accident injuries don’t happen unless you are traveling at high rates of speed. But actually, car accident injuries like whiplash can occur if you are traveling at a low speed or even completely stopped! Parking lot accidents are unfortunate but common for a number of reasons and can result in a variety of car accident injuries. Here’s everything you need to know about parking lot accidents.

Common Causes of Parking Lot Accidents

Common Causes of Parking Lot AccidentsYou might be surprised to learn that parking lots are a common location for car accidents. The high volume of vehicles and pedestrians in such a relatively confined space makes this an area ripe for potential issues. By being aware of these common causes of parking lot accidents and taking precautions to avoid them, you can help reduce the risk of an accident in a parking lot. Here are a few common causes of parking lot accidents:


One of the most obvious causes of a parking lot accident occurs when your car is in reverse. When you are trying to back out of a parking space, you might not see a car coming up behind you or a pedestrian walking by. Parking lot accidents that happen while a driver is in reverse can be dangerous for everyone involved.


Inattention is another common cause of parking lot accidents. If a driver isn’t paying attention to their surroundings, they may not make note of where pedestrians are and if any cars are coming. If you aren’t paying close attention to your surroundings, you can put yourself and others at serious risk for car accident injuries.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is quickly becoming one of the most common reasons for all types of car accidents, even those that occur in a parking lot. Many activities can be considered distracted driving, including texting while driving or talking on the phone. Distracted driving can significantly increase the risk of an accident in a parking lot, especially when there is a mix of cars and pedestrians in the area.


Driving too fast in a parking lot can also increase the risk of a car accident. When you are speeding, this can make it more difficult to stop or react in time to prevent a car accident. Plus, other drivers or pedestrians in the area may not see you coming. If a driver is backing out of a parking spot and you speed by too quickly, this could result in a crash. Similarly, if a person or child is walking through the parking lot and you speed through, you could end up hitting a pedestrian.

Poor Visibility

When it’s raining or snowing, this can make it difficult to see the road in front of you, other cars around you, or even the lines on the pavement. In a parking lot, this can become increasingly dangerous because of the number of cars and people around. Poor visibility can potentially result in an accident, no matter what surface you are driving on. Poorly lit parking lots at night can also increase the risk of an accident.

Changing Lanes

While you might think of changing lanes as something that occurs on the highway, you can also end up in a car accident if there are multiple lanes and rows of parking. Accidents can occur when a driver changes lanes in a parking lot and doesn’t see another vehicle or pedestrian in an adjacent lane. Always double-check before turning or backing out in a parking lot to decrease the risk of a car accident.

Parking Lot Accident Injuries

Parking Lot Accident InjuriesParking lot accidents can result in a surprisingly wide variety of injuries. The specific circumstances and severity of the accident can impact the type and severity of injuries that occur. Some common injuries that may occur in a parking lot accident include the following.

Scrapes & Bruises

Scrapes and bruises are common car accident injuries. These could result from the force of impact on the vehicle or other objects in the parking lot. You could end up with scrapes or bruising on your limbs from the sudden jolt and jostling. Or you could end up with scrapes or bruising across your chest or waist where the seat belt clicked in place for safety.

Head Injuries

Head injuries, such as concussions, can occur if a pedestrian gets hit by a vehicle or if they fall and hit their head after the collision. A driver or passenger could also suffer a head injury if their head collides with part of the vehicle, like the steering wheel or dashboard. Even a slight bump on the head from a car accident should get looked at by a car accident doctor to rule out any potential injury or issue.

Back & Neck Injuries

Back and neck injuries are some of the most common types of car accident injuries. The force of impact with a car accident can cause your upper body to get jostled around. Damage to the spine or soft tissues that support your spine in your back and neck can cause pain, discomfort, and other serious symptoms. Whiplash is the most common type of car accident injury and primarily affects the neck and upper back. Whiplash can even occur in a car accident at a slow rate of speed, like a parking lot accident.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries refer to injuries that affect muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other soft tissues. Common soft tissue injuries, such as sprains and strains, can occur if a person is hit by a vehicle or if they fall and twist their body. Drivers and passengers can also suffer soft tissue injuries from a parking lot accident.

Bone & Joint Injuries

Broken bones and dislocated joints can also occur as a result of a car accident. Whether you were a pedestrian, a passenger, or driving the car, you could end up with a bone fracture or joint damage. A sudden, forceful blow or too much pressure on a bone or joint can result in a break or other type of damage that may cause significant pain and restrict your mobility.

What to Do After a Parking Lot Accident

If you’ve been in a parking lot accident, here’s what you should do afterward.

Report the Accident

The first thing you need to do is report the accident to the authorities. Police will attend the scene and write up a report of what happened that you would need to provide to your insurance company. No matter whether you were the driver at fault or not, you should always report the accident and not assume the other person has done so.

Check for Injuries

Take a moment to check for injuries before making any big or sudden movements. As long as you are in a safe space to do so, start from your head and work your way down to your toes. If you notice any pain, see any blood, or think anything else seems off, try not to move the area and wait for help to arrive. Paramedics can provide you with important treatment that can help prevent an injury from getting worse.

Exchange Information

Exchange information with other drivers or pedestrians involved. Make sure to get their driver’s license information and car insurance details. You can also take a picture of their license, insurance card, and license plate.

Follow Up with Car Accident Doctor

No matter how small or minor the car accident, you always want to err on the side of caution and follow up with a car accident doctor. Car accident doctors treat these types of injuries every day and can even spot the signs and symptoms of a car accident injury before you fully experience them. The sooner you get started on treatment for any injuries, the faster you can start healing and recovering.

How to Prevent Parking Lot Accidents

Check out these top four tips for how to prevent parking lot accidents.

Drive Slowly

Take your time when driving through a parking lot, and go slowly. This will help you stay alert and able to respond quickly to any sudden surprises or issues that may arise.

Watch for Pedestrians

Always be on the lookout for pedestrians in a parking lot. If people are walking near or behind your car, wait until they pass by and clear the area before backing out or turning.

Use Turn Signals

Use your turn signals to help clearly indicate where you are going in the parking lot. This can help clear up any confusion and avoid a potential accident.

Avoid Distractions

Ignore any phone calls or texts when you are in a parking lot, and make sure you can focus on the task at hand. If you need to change the radio station or make a quick call, do so before you start moving so you can avoid an accident.



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