Florida Seeing Increase in Frequency of Parking Lot Car Accidents
Car accidents in parking lots have been increasing in frequency in the state of Florida. Recent crash data indicates that these accidents are not only happening more often, they are also leading to more injuries. Many of these accidents are likely due to drivers becoming distracted behind the wheel in parking lots.*
In 2018, more than 30 fatal accidents in the state of Florida occurred in parking lots. This includes all types of parking lots in the state. In addition, nearly 7,000 people in Florida were injured in traffic accidents that happened in parking lots during 2018. In the city of Tampa, Florida, parking lot accidents were up over 15 percent.
During 2018, more than 5,500 parking lot accidents were reported in Tampa Bay alone. This number was higher than the combined accidents involving motorcycles, pedestrians, and driving under the influence in Tampa. Most of the Tampa parking lot accidents happened in the parking lots for the International Mall and the Tampa International Airport.
A potential reason for increasing numbers of parking lot accidents is distracted driving. The National Safety Council recently reported that more than 65 percent of drivers in the United States admit to making phone calls while they’re driving through parking lots. More than 55 percent of drivers admit to texting while driving in parking lots. Close to the same number of drivers admit to engaging in other distractions on their phones in parking lots, like reading emails and watching videos.
Distracted driving can lead to a serious accident in a parking lot just as easily as it can on a roadway. Being in a parking lot does not mean that drivers do not have to follow traffic rules. It’s important to remember that the same laws that apply on a road apply in a parking lot.
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