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Is Your Business Parking Lot Safe?

Each year, more than 50,000 accidents occur in parking lots and garage structures according to the National Safety Council. These accidents are responsible for over 60,000 injuries and more than 500 deaths, primarily the result of careless driving. According to a 2016 NSC Poll, two out of every three people are less than attentive when driving in a parking lot.

“People have their heads down, they’re on their phones whether they’re behind the wheel or whether they are pedestrians,”  said National Safety Council president, Deborah Hersman, noting that even for people driving at low speeds in a parking lot, doing so while distracted is dangerous.

Business owners may potentially be held legally liable if an accident occurs on a company-owned parking lot. Whether the person is exiting or entering a vehicle, walking or driving, their safety is your concern. Matters become even more complicated if that person should happen to be an employee, as it’s considered by OSHA to be a reportable incident.

In an effort to reduce the risk of an avoidable accident happening in your parking lot, here are three helpful things to keep in mind:

Parking Lot Design:
Safe parking lots begin with good designs that can accommodate both vehicles and pedestrians safely. According to the National Safety Council, parking areas should be fully enclosed by either a curb or fence. Entrances and exits should be clearly marked and, when possible, oriented so that they encourage right turns both in an out of the lot.

Parking areas should have sufficient lighting and proper lane markings. This means solid or dashed yellow lines to denote traffic flowing in opposite directions and white dashed lines to signify more than one lane traveling in the same direction.

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