Distracted Parking- Counter It Using Smart Technology3 min read
According to the National Safety Council, over 60,000 people get injured in parking lots every year. Around 500 of these accidents are fatal. The parking lot is busy with a lot going on at any given point of the day. Pedestrians are walking across pavements while a number of vehicles are backing in and out of their slots. Even though the vehicular speed is at a minimum in parking lots, it’s a space prone to accidents, causing fatal injuries and even deaths. And one of the main reasons for these accidents is distracted parking.
How distracted parking can be fatal
Drivers drop their guard once they enter the parking spaces, assuming there’s no potential for danger. But being distracted in a parking space is as dangerous as speeding on a highway.
The NSC polls state that 66% of drivers across the nation make or receive phone calls while driving in parking lots. Distraction is not limited to cell phone driving. Following are the various reasons drivers are distracted in parking spaces.
- 63% program their GPS
- 50% check their emails
- 52% check their social media
- 49% click pictures or watch videos
- 56% send texts
- 42% attend video calls
All of this account for huge distraction and carelessness from the drivers, which if restrained can help avoid threats in parking lots.
Distracted Parking- Drivers need to stay alert
Even if the one driving is not distracted by these activities, it is important to be alert and cautious while driving in parking spaces. The majority of deaths in parking lot accidents occur while drivers are backing up their cars. This happens because of the blind zones created by other vehicles parked around the slot, obstructing the driver’s vision. The elderly and small children are more prone to get into such accidents. So, drivers need to keep an eye out for pedestrians, especially while backing up.
Another reason for distracted driving is that the drivers are keener on finding a vacant and convenient parking spot, and they often neglect to pay attention to their surroundings.
At times, the pedestrian walking also may be distracted by their phone or any other reason. The presence of potholes and slippery slopes are contributors to slip and fall accidents. These can be avoided by urging pedestrians to be cautious while walking, as well as maintaining the parking lot in a better condition.
Leveraging smart technology to be safer
Government data indicates that 9% of pedestrian deaths are a result of back-over incidents in parking lots. But the use of the right technology can minimize these issues and help you stay alert.
- Vehicles today are equipped with rearview cameras, offering you a wide view behind the vehicle when operating in reverse
- It is always best to physically look over one’s shoulder or take a 360-degree look around the back of the car. This practice will ensure the driver doesn’t miss any small obstructions that technology cannot detect.
- Installing monitoring systems can alert you of blind spots. The system warns you of another vehicle through sound, vibration, or symbols.
Distracted driving is as dangerous as overspeeding at 50mph, according to NSC. So, drivers should be alert while driving in parking lots as well. They must pay attention to their surroundings, especially while backing up. Personal grooming, eating, using phones, etcetera, are some of the activities that cause a distraction. So, it’s best to avoid doing them while driving unless you’re in a self-driving car.
Similarly, parking rules are not limited to drivers only. Pedestrians also must be responsible and walk with caution for their safety.