When you are driving through a parking lot, you may consider the free-for-all attitude that many drivers adopt part of the deal, but that should not be the case. Parking lots harbor many dangers, and they are frequently the site of serious accidents. Understanding how right-of-way works in parking lots can help. You are wise to recognize, however, that many drivers simply ignore the rules when it comes to parking lots, so it is always in your best interest to proceed with extreme caution.
Pedestrians and Right-of-Way
It stands to reason that motorists should yield to pedestrians in parking lots whenever possible. After all, motorists are encased in the safety of a large metal vehicle while absolutely nothing comes between a pedestrian and the impact of an accident. Nevertheless, there are right-of-way rules that apply and that pedestrians should always adhere to – for their own safety. These include:
- Pedestrians always have the right-of-way in parking lot crosswalks (but always make sure it is safe to cross before doing so).
- When crossing a parking lot aisle, pedestrians generally have the right-of-way but should wait to ensure that all vehicles stop for them.
- When walking down a parking lot aisle (facing traffic), pedestrians have the right-of-way over those vehicles which are backing out of their parking spaces.
When you are a pedestrian in a parking lot, always err on the side of caution – it is better to be safe than sorry.
Vehicles and Right-of-Way
When you are behind the wheel and are entering or are maneuvering through a parking lot, you should always put safety first and should be aware of the basic right-of-way rules. These include:
- When backing out of a parking space, you must yield the right-of-way to other motorists and to pedestrians in the aisle.
- When making a left-hand turn into an aisle in the lot, you must cede the right-of-way to oncoming traffic. When making a right-hand turn into an aisle, you have the right-of-way but obviously must accommodate any activity in your path, such as cars that are parking, cars that are pulling out of parking spaces, and pedestrians.
- When you are pulling out of a parking lot, the motorists already on the road you are pulling onto and any pedestrians walking on the sidewalk you are crossing (as applicable) have the right-of-way. This means that you must wait for a safe opening to join the flow of traffic.
If You Are Injured in a Parking Lot, Consult with an Experienced Killeen Personal Injury Attorney
Parking lot accidents are not uncommon, and they are often due to negligent drivers who fail to consider the safety of others adequately. If another driver's negligence leaves you injured in a parking lot accident, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is an experienced personal injury attorney who is committed to skillfully advocating on behalf of the compensation to which you are entitled. We are here to help, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.