The accident hotspot drivers in South Africa forget about

 ·8 Jun 2024

Parking lots are one of the most common places for car collisions.

Although parking lots are often not named as hotspots for accidents, the National Safety Council in the USA reported over 50,000 parking lot accidents each year, accounting for roughly 20% of all car crashes.

Moreover, there are as many as 500 deaths due to parking lot collisions.

“While South Africa’s stats are limited, it is safe to assume that parking lots here are just as an ideal location for collisions with other vehicles, people and stationary objects,” said MasterDrive CEO Eugene Herbert.

“Unfortunately, drivers in parking lots do not give the same respect to road signs and markings that they do on other roads.:

“Additionally, distraction amongst both drivers and pedestrians is more prevalent. Lastly, as drivers have just reached their destination, their awareness levels also automatically drop. This all combines to create an accident waiting to happen.”

MasterDrive thus gave tips to avoid collisions in parking lots:

  1. Follow the rules!

Drivers should not ignore any road markings or signs in a parking lot.

All road laws apply, such as driving in the left-hand lane and obeying one-way lanes.

  1. Don’t speed

The generally accepted speed limit in parking lots is not to exceed 10km/h.

“Even if the lot seems empty, it is the perfect place for people to suddenly step into your lane or a car to unexpectedly reverse out. Additionally, stopping in time is difficult with less time and space to react.”

  1. Hyperawareness

In parking lots, drivers should also be aware of people walking to their vehicles (who are also ignoring road rules), such as children who may run out.

When leaving a parking spot, you must be aware of all objects or persons that could be collided with.

  1. Be selective

“The perfect parking spot is not the one closest to the entrance, it is the one safest to exit later. A parking spot where drivers can pull through are the best.”

“Be sure there is nothing dividing the spots. If you cannot find a pull-through, reverse into your parking spot. This provides the best visibility when leaving. Ideally, select a spot against a wall in a well-lit area.”

  1. Extra check

When climbing into your car, look around and make sure that there are no smaller obstacles that are not visible once you are inside.

  1. Rearview = limited view

Do not depend on rearview cameras to reverse into or out of a parking spot.

It is an aid for reversing, not a replacement for mirrors or checking over your shoulder.

Read: New subjects added for schools in South Africa

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