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How To Avoid Accidents In The Parking Lot: All You Need To Know

Ariel view of cars in a car park

How To Avoid Accidents In The Parking Lot: All You Need To Know

A lot of accidents happen in the parking lot, and even though they aren’t usually high-speed, they can still carry a lot of risks. 60,000 injuries are sustained every year in the US from parking lot accidents. In this guide, we’re looking into the best ways to avoid these sorts of bumps.

Dangerous Driving In Parking Lots

A parking lot is dangerous for a couple of reasons. There are a lot of cars and not a lot of visibility. On top of that, you also need to consider the fact that some reckless drivers might not be fully switched on.

Common parking lot accidents include:

  • Back-up accidents. When somebody reverses into another vehicle or hazard.
  • Forward-moving accidents. It’s also possible that there will be accidents when both cars are moving forwards, for instance, if someone goes around a corner too quickly.
  • Stop sign rear-end accidents. Someone may stop at a stop sign and get shunted by the car behind.
  • Parking spot collisions. This is usually a driving failure, scraping the car next to you, or even someone else competing for a spot.

 Common Reasons For Parking Lot Collisions

  • Talking on the phone or texting while driving.
  • Not using your turn signals to alert other drivers.
  • Aggressive driving to try and get into space.
  • Glare and other poor weather conditions for driving.
  • Dangerous vehicles, such as missing or dirty mirrors.
  • Going too fast in a confined area.

How Far Away Do You Have To Park From Another Car?

It depends on your location, there may be rules in certain locations. Most parallel parking tips say you should park at least 1m or more from other vehicles to ensure they have plenty of space to maneuver. In parking spaces, try to be considerate and make sure there is room to open the doors to both cars fully.

How To Avoid A Parking Lot Accident

There are some very simple ways to avoid accidents in parking lots:

  •  Always think about your blind spots and double-check these.
  •  Drive slowly to reduce the chance of an accident.
  • Check your mirrors.
  • Be considerate of other drivers.
  •  Don’t have your music on, it can distract you from hazardous noises.
  • Park in parts of the parking lot that are less busy.
  • Take your time. Rushing is a recipe for disaster.

Parallel Parking Tips

Parallel parking is the cause of a lot of scrapes. A few parallel parking tips can turn you into a pro when attempting this form of parking.

The best tips are to take your time, even if you are holding up other vehicles. They can wait it is not worth the risk.

Also, before you try to turn the wheel and back up into space, ensure you have fully turned the wheel before you start to reverse in.

You should stop backing up when the front right of the car behind you lines up with the middle of your windshield, reverse straight (slowly) then turn the wheel to straighten up.

Use The Latest Perks Of Technology

You can use technology to your advantage. New driving technology such as dashcams to give evidence if someone is in the wrong, and also reverse-parking sensors and cameras that can help to eliminate blind spots and allow you to park more safely. A lot of modern cars include these features, but they can also be retrofitted.

Who Is At Fault In A Parking Lot Accident?

Often, it is very hard to attribute any blame in a parking lot accident. There might not be any evidence, and it could just boil down to one person’s word against another. That means that there is very little recourse for some people who aren’t to blame.

In the eyes of the law and insurance companies, there is often a 50/50 split of blame, assuming some fault on both parties. There are some exceptions if fault can be proven without a doubt. Therefore, in case of an accident, fatal or nonfatal, you should consult a lawyer. As mentioned here at, the injured person or the deceased’s family has the right to make a claim against the party responsible.

What role would insurance play if you had a parking lot accident?

Insurance still has a key role to play. Your insurance may well cover any damages that stem from your accident. However, that doesn’t mean that you won’t have to pay anything. It could be that both parties still have to pay their deductible. The good news is that on many liability car insurance policies, you are even covered if you damage someone else’s property.


Parking lots do pose risks of accidents and even injuries. Fortunately, they often are not serious, but you should still be extra-cautious and make sure you drive slowly and carefully in the parking lot, considering the other vehicles around you at all times. If you’re concerned, you can also park in quieter spots and walk further, as this will reduce the risk of accidents in the parking lot, too.

About The Author
Patrick Peterson is a writer/editor at AutoDetective. Born and raised in the automotive world. He’s a passionate writer who crafts exquisite content pieces about everything related to cars and bikes.
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