Do parking lots need to be better designed? Can companies do something to better protect the public?
The recent death of Addison Hall at a local Costco parking lot has brought to the forefront the issue of parking lot safety.
Although some mall parking lots have added speed bumps and other measures to slow people down, large commercial parking lots are often chaotic and confusing. Lots without signs often leave motorists searching for their vehicles in and out of lanes where traffic is coming through. Parking lots are especially dangerous during the holidays.
Some suggest that it is not the lots that are dangerous, its the drivers. If a driver is not paying attention to what is in front of them, whether they are on their cellphone or just looking for a space, an accident can quickly occur. Another problem is disoriented drivers. In British Columbia, an elderly driver in a parking lot mistook the gas for the brake and crashed into the store.
Its difficult to determine exactly how many accidents occur in parking lots, especially as many are hit-and-run crashes. However, one study in the United States between 2004 and 2009 found that about 23 per cent of the county's pedestrian accidents took place in parking lots. According to auto insurer Nationwide, in 2012, about 13 per cent of the claims they processed occurred in parking lots.
Can anyone change the laws though to better protect pedestrians walking in a parking lot or a near a store? Yes and no. In Ontario, privately owned lots do not fall under the authority of the Highway Traffic Act. However, some large malls have made arrangements with the municipalities they are in to dedicate their main routes for public use as highways, covered under the Highway Traffic Act.
It is important to note that if an accident occurs in a parking lot and the crash results in injury or property damage of more than $1,000 it must be reported to the police.
Have you or someone you love been injured in a parking lot accident? Did you know that the victim may be eligible to file a lawsuit to help recover financial compensation?
Contact the car accident lawyers at Greg Monforton & Partners to learn more about how we can help you get the justice you deserve.