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According to the National Safety Council (NSC), each year, over 50,000 auto accidents take place in either parking lots or garage structures. These accidents are the cause of nearly 60,000 injuries and 500 deaths. Many of these accidents are preventable, as the NSC states that nearly 66% of driver’s nationwide user their cellphone while driving through parking lots. Even if a driver is responsible for the accident, the owner of the parking lot or garage could be held legally liable. Selective Insurance states, “Whether the person is exiting or entering a vehicle, walking or driving, their safety is your concern”. This becomes even more complicated if the person injured is an employee, as this is considered by OSHA to be a, “reportable accident”. For more information on OSHA guidelines and reporting, please see the bottom of this blog*. There are several options that businessowners have available to decrease the likelihood of a claim occurring in their parking lot:

  1. Parking Lot Design: Solid or dashed yellow lines, install sidewalks for pedestrians, fence/curb enclosing the lot, clearly marked Entrances and Exits
  2. Slow Things Down: limited visibility in a parking lot, slower the speed limit the better, 5-10 mph speed limits, post speed limits in clear view
  3. Use the Necessary Signage: proper traffic flow, remind people to keep off electronic devices/look out for pedestrian traffic, easy to understand signs

This information is even more relevant as the Holiday season approaches us. With more people shopping and ultimately being in parking lots, an increase in accidents is appropriate to assume. More people are likely to be busy on their phones, or reading their shopping list, so drivers must be more aware than ever. NSC as well as Selective Insurance Company have provided valuable information for drivers to be aware of while in parking lots or garage structures. Please follow these links for more information: Selective and NSC

*Insurance People provides a no-cost application for OSHA reporting called OSHAlogs. OSHAlogs is a Secure, Web-Based Application that Enables Employers to Create Accident Reports, Track Injuries, Print Required OSHA Documents and View Injury Metrics in Real-Time. For more information, please contact Mitch Kaufmann;*