Has this ever happened to you? You’re sitting in your car in a parking lot, and you look out at the road. You notice all the congestion, mayhem, and stressed-out drivers, and think to yourself, “Boy, I really don’t want to go out there. I’d rather stay here where I feel safe.”
That lends credence to the notion that parking lots are secure places. They are oases of calm and tranquility that contrast sharply with the tension-packed chaos that crowds the surrounding streets. So can we assume that when compared to the hustle and bustle of public thoroughfares, parking lots are areas where we can feel a little more protected from accidents?
Eh, not so much.
There are plenty of statistics which indicate that parking lots are no safer than streets or highways when it comes to collisions. Consider these numbers:
1. 14% of all claims filed with auto insurance companies are for collisions which occurred in parking lots.
Think about this for a second: about 1 out of every 7 crashes occurs in areas which are designed for cars that don’t move!
2. The number of parking lots accidents increases by 20% during the holiday season.
You might expect a slight increase due to the number of additional vehicles found in shopping center and mall parking lots. But 20%? So much for the holiday spirit.
3. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that in 2005, there were 27,000 accidents in America caused by a vehicle entering a parking space.
That means that about three times each hour in the U.S., somebody fails to maneuver their vehicle between two white lines without smashing into something.
4. The DOT study also found that there were 65,000 accidents in the U.S. that year caused by a vehicle leaving a parking space.
Does that mean that it’s 2.4 times more difficult to get out of a parking space than it is to get into one?
5. 80% of all bumper scratches occur during parking.
In other words, 4 out of 5 dentists surveyed say that 4 out of 5 of their bumper scratches happened while parking.
6. About 30% of respondents in a survey think that it’s okay to “love tap” another vehicle’s bumper while parallel parking.
We’ll bet that 99.9% of the people whose vehicles got bumped would be quite willing to give those 30% of drivers a great big “love tap.”