Parking Lot Wrecks
Children and the elderly are at higher risk of parking lot accidents than those in any other age group. At Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner, our car accident attorneys in Fort Myers and Cape Coral know pedestrians in Southwest Florida are at high risk for such accidents – both because of the senior pedestrian population, and because of the large number of older drivers behind the wheel.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration originally announced a rule requiring backup cameras to be mounted in all vehicles by the 2014 model year. Unfortunately, the rule was later postponed after lobbyists for auto manufacturers complained about costs and logistics. In early 2014, the USA Today reported the NHTSA was again set to require the cameras, beginning with the 2016 model year. By 2018, all new vehicles should be equipped with rearview cameras to help avoid backover injuries when exiting from parking spaces and private drives, or otherwise traveling in reverse.
- 292 fatalities each year.
- 18,000 injuries annually.
- 44 percent of victims are children under 5.
- One-third of victims are over the age of 70.
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Congress passed a law ordering the U.S. Department of Transportation to implement cameras or other backup warning devices on new vehicles by 2011. However, it wasn't until a group of safety advocates sued that the agency announced the renewed push to implement force automakers to comply with the new safety measures.
Besides parking lot accidents, a large number of backover accidents occur in driveways. Tragically, these often involve small children playing around vehicles at holiday gatherings.
In addition to the at-fault driver, these crashes can involve liability on the part of the homeowner or business owner. Dark parking lots or a lack of marked parking lanes, for example, can contribute to such accidents. Vehicles backing out of parking spaces and into pedestrian lanes are another common cause, particularly when walkways are not clearly defined along retail and commercial frontage.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports backover accidents are more likely to involve pickup trucks and SUVs than smaller vehicles. In most cases involving driveways, the victim is a family member or close friend.
Even in those cases, it’s critical to speak to an experienced car accident attorney in the immediate aftermath of such an accident. Injuries to a child can be complicated by growth and other factors during rehabilitation. And it may be years before the long-term consequences are known. In the event of a fatal tragedy, parents and siblings may need extensive counseling or other social services. Filing a claim can help protect your rights and the long-term well-being of you and your family.
Southwest Florida Parking Lot Injuries
A quick visit to Kids and Cars reveals the tragic truth: Too often parking lot accidents claim the life of a toddler. In fact, the agency estimates at least 50 children a week are backed over by vehicles. All are treated in hospital emergency rooms, at least two a month will not survive.
Parents should know where their children are before starting a vehicle and drivers should walk around a vehicle before moving it. Children should be taught never to play in or around vehicles. Sports equipment, toys and other items should not be allowed on the driveway.
The other most vulnerable population is aging seniors. Secondary fall injuries can often seriously or even fatally injure an older adult. And in more and more cases we are finding infrastructure is inadequate to properly protect older adults.
A comprehensive report by Transportation for America found the nation's suburban infrastructure is woefully underprepared to handle a growing number of seniors who will be walking or utilizing other public transportation options as Baby Boomers continue to retire. The report concluded the four most dangerous cities in America for pedestrians are located in Florida: Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami-Fort Lauderdale.
However, seniors are also at high risk of causing parking lot collisions. A study by Texas A&M University found those over the age of 75 are 17 times more likely to have a parking lot accident than an accident on a regular street. Most continue to cite long walks after parking as a primary reason to take public transportation but the implication is clear: Our elderly residents are at higher injury risks whether walking or driving through the parking lot of a big box store.
The personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys at Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner know many families are overwhelmed by emotion after such a tragedy. Selecting a law firm that can deal with the doctors, hospitals and insurance companies will allow you to focus on recovery. As a family firm, we understand what you are going through. As one of Southwest Florida’s most respected law firms, we have the resources to protect your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve.
1-800-283-2900 – Associates and Bruce L. Scheiner – Focused on Justice