Once again June is National Safety Month - this year's focus is on transportation safety, which happens to be something we're pretty passionate about too. While transportation safety can take a variety of forms we want to talk about the place where according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety 20% of damage causing accidents occur: the parking lot. Cautious and defensive driving combined with the correct management of a parking lot or garage could reduce traffic accidents by up to 1/5! Let's take a look at some small changes that can make a substantial difference.
1. When possible select a pull-through parking space. When a pull-through space is not available back into, rather than out of a space. A majority of accidents occur while in reverse and although dings and fender benders are a pain, the biggest benefit of driving forward out of a space is avoiding pedestrians that may have entered your blind spot. An estimated 50 children a week are the victims of back over accidents.
2. Many older parking garages are not equipped for today's larger vehicles. Make sure that your vehicle is under the clearance height for the garage, or you could end up like these drivers. If your facility is in need of some new clearance bars to prevent damage to vehicles and structures alike we'd love to help you out. You can find all kinds of information about our ClearanceGard clearance bars over at the website.
3. Maintain a reasonable speed. Often times we're in a hurry, trying to knock out errands, running late for that meeting, or attempting to grab that parking space before someone else does; but those extra MPH can add up to extra risks. Although you may be moving at a relatively slow speed there are still plenty of hazards, from runaway shopping carts to drivers exiting parking spaces, that require quick reaction times. Maintaining the recommended speed (usually less than 15 MPH) will give you the most amount of time to react and avoid potential accidents. Parking lot and parking garage managers can help drivers maintain the recommended speeds by installing speed bumps. We have a variety of materials and installation methods for both concrete and asphalt and would be happy to help you find the right product to increase safety at your facility.
4. Be alert. Parking lots are filled with distractions, from juggling packages to checking text messages, but those distractions lead to increased accident rates. Do your part to focus on the task at hand: safely navigating the parking lot, rather than multitasking while behind the wheel.
5. Remember to be an equally cautious pedestrian as driver. Our vigilance for parking lot safety doesn't end when we exit our car. In the parking lot we are both pedestrians and drivers. Be mindful of walking between vehicles where it is difficult for other motorists to spot you, continue to be alert - text messages, e-mails, and shopping lists can wait until you are safely out of the parking lot, and keep a close watch on children to prevent them from sneaking into the blind spots of moving vehicles.
Although we take special note of safety in the month of June, we're passionate about it all year round. We think this year's safety month motto: "What do you live for?" is a great reminder for keeping safety at the forefront of all we do. Do you have a great parking lot safety tip? Let's hear it in the comments.