Pedestrian safety is just as important as driver safety when navigating through garages and surface lots. Many people make the mistake of thinking that by parking in a garage or lot and then walking to and from their vehicle, that an accident can’t happen. After all, drivers are supposed to be driving at lower speeds and following the rules. In actuality, many drivers are more focused on finding a parking space and least concentrated on their driving. Once parked, the driver then becomes the pedestrian who is more focused on that restaurant menu, their forgotten shopping list or getting an umbrella from the trunk. These distractions cause pedestrians to be more focused on other things than watching for vehicles and finding a proper crosswalk. These factors combined may increase the likelihood of an accident of injury.
It is important to view parking garages and lots as if they were streets and intersections with speed limits, signs, and traffic patterns which apply to both drivers and pedestrians.
Here are some general safety tips for pedestrians:
- Never walk up an entrance or exit ramp – always take the stairs or elevator.
- Avoid being distracted by talking on a cellular telephone, by wearing headphones or carrying too many packages.
- Never assume that a driver sees you or that they will stop for you. You may be in their blind spot or they may be distracted. If you are wearing dark clothes and it’s near dusk – they may not see you. It’s a good idea to not wear sunglasses inside a garage whether you are a pedestrian or a driver.
- Walk defensively with keys in hand and be prepared for the unexpected.
- Remember that traffic patterns differ: On-street traffic flows in one direction or another, but traffic patterns in a parking lot may vary with vehicles moving from different directions including backwards.
- In bad weather, wear proper footwear to avoid injury
- Look both ways before walking
- Walk along parking aisles, crosswalks and sidewalks, do not walk in-between vehicles
- Listen and watch for vehicles – some electric vehicles are extremely quiet and you may not hear them behind you
After all, parking is really all about people and their behaviors, not vehicles. Whether in a public parking garage, lot or on a street, it is just as important to be considerate of others as it is in a business, store or restaurant setting. Everyone makes a mistake at some point in time, so please be forgiving and courteous to the other driver and to pedestrians alike.
Off street parking garages and lots are a public resource. They help businesses grow by providing ample parking for citizens, customers, visitors, as well as employees. Safety impacts not only the general public, but those people who use the facilities day in and day out. Drivers and pedestrians alike can be safe and accident free – all it takes is following some simple rules and applying common courtesy.For more information, contact PARK Roanoke at (540) 343-0585 or email us at [email protected]
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