More than 50,000 crashes happen in parking lots and parking garages annually, resulting in 500 or more fatalities and more than 60,000 injuries, according to EHS Today.
To make matters worse, a poll conducted by the National Safety Council found that 66% of drivers say they allow themselves to be distracted while driving through a parking lot. As fleet managers well know, distracted driving ups the odds of a collision.
While it may seem rudimentary, reminding your drivers of best practices while navigating parking lots and garages is always a relevant safety topic. Experts suggest the following strategies:
Check the Safety Bumper
Before entering a covered garage, drivers should always check the clearance height of the safety bumper and make sure their vehicle can clear it. While most automotive fleet vehicles will be fine, some large SUVs , vans or small trucks may not.
The best thing you can do is to travel slowly in a parking lot or garage. The slower you go, the sharper you can turn to get into a tight spot and you’ll have a better line of sight at slow speeds. This gives you more reaction time in the event another vehicle or a pedestrian darts out in front of your vehicle.
Obey Signage and Stay in Your Lane
Signage in lots and garages is important as it helps manage the flow of traffic and is designed to reduce collisions. Follow arrows and signs and stay in your lane.
In some covered garages, it can be a bit dark and everything is less visible. This is a good time to use your headlights.
As always, focus on driving. Eliminate any distractions such as fiddling with the radio, using cell phones, or eating and drinking.
Be Vigilant When Backing up
Over 50 parking lot and parking garage deaths each year occur when drivers are backing up, notes EHS Today. Use a backup camera and other alerts to reduce the risk of having a collision. But in addition, make sure to do a 360 degree scan— looking over both shoulders— before you back out of a parking spot.