Throughout the remainder of the year and through the holiday season, parking lots will serve as the backdrop for many accidents in Chicago and elsewhere. Shoppers, drivers and pedestrians should be cautious in these areas to avoid an accident.
Our Chicago personal injury attorneys urge residents to be cautious of negligent security, slip and falls, pedestrians, ice and broken sidewalks. Property owners should make sure that their facilities are reasonably safe.
Another hazard in parking lots can be cracks, potholes, unclear parking lot striping, improper signage, garbage and debris. When it gets cold, snow and ice can be additional hazards. Walkways should be clearly marked and properly maintained and signage should be present to help protect pedestrian traffic from vehicular traffic. Property owners should also make sure that their parking lots are well lit.
Pedestrians are at extremely high risks for accidents as man drivers will overlook them when backing up out of a parking spot. As a matter of fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is looking to require back-up cameras on all new vehicles. Although these cameras would in fact help drivers to see pedestrians walking behind their car, driver awareness is the most beneficial safety precaution in preventing these accidents.
Parents are urged to hold the hands of their young children in the parking lot to help ensure that they’re not run over by a reversing vehicle. Every year, there are nearly 300 people killed in these types of accidents in the U.S. Another 18,000 are injured. Approximately 40 percent of these fatalities are experienced by children under the age of 5.
Property owners should also keep parking lots free of hazardous debris and dangerous ground hazards. Potholes, cracks in the sidewalk and bumps in the road place walkers at a high risk for a trip and fall accident. When weather conditions are poor and ice and snow cover the pavement, property owners are required to properly address these conditions to make walkways safe for customers.
To safely accommodate pedestrian traffic, property owners should consider the following:
-Ramps, sidewalks and other walkways should be safely designed and properly maintained.
-Cracks in the pavement and potholes should be repaired promptly.
-Road debris and trash should be removed regularly and dumpsters should be placed away from moving traffic.
-Areas that don’t drain well should be fixed immediately.
-Lighting the parking lot is key after the sun sets.
-Address snow and ice immediately after accumulation.
-When there are differences in the height of connecting walkways, they should be highlighted with yellow paint to alert on-foot traffic.
-You should have an incident/accident reporting system.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a parking lot accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.
More Blog Entries:
July 22 Illinois hit-and-run pedestrian accidents result in charges in one case and a reward offer in another,Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, October 14, 2011
82-Year-Old Driver Injures Two Pedestrians – Are Your Parent’s at Risk for a Car Accident in Chicago?,Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, July 15, 2011