If you work in a busy Georgia city, or venture to town on occasion to take in a show or visit your favorite restaurant with friends, you may be familiar with various parking lots provided in the area. Some lots are small and quite challenging to navigate, especially if you drive a large vehicle; others stretch a quarter mile or more. Although a convenient place to leave your car while enjoying a night on the town, it can be a little unnerving getting in and out of a parking lot, especially if you're traveling alone.
Many people suffer mishaps in parking lots. From minor collisions with other vehicles to much more serious situations involving violent crimes, patrons carry a certain amount of inherent risk when they park in these venues. There are several things you can do to maintain safety in a parking lot.
Optimum safety tips for parking lots
It's one thing to have to circle around a time or two (or three) waiting for a spot to open up in a busy parking lot. It's quite another to suffer injury because of someone's negligence in an accident that was likely preventable. As for personal safety, the following tips may be helpful on your next outing:
- The brighter the better: Poorly lit parking lots place you and others at risk for all kinds of injuries. In fact, it's always safest to try to park your vehicle as close to a light as possible, especially if you know you'll be returning to your car in the dark.
- Proper surveillance: Parking lots with safety devices installed, such as video monitors or security patrols, are typically safer than those without.
- Quick access to elevators: Some parking lots are on the top levels of garages. If you park in one of these areas, it's always safest to place your vehicle as close to the nearest elevator as possible.
- Don't talk to strangers: If you're a parent, you probably teach your children this mantra; however, as adults, we often fail to follow our own rules. Where parking lot safety is concerned, it's generally best to proceed with utmost caution if someone you don't know approaches you in conversation.
- Know the ins and outs: Scan the area when you park your car to familiarize yourself with all available entrances and exits in case of an emergency.
This list covers basic ideas for maintaining personal safety in a parking lot. If your car contains valuables, it may be best to secure them in the trunk rather than on a seat in plain sight when you leave your vehicle unattended. When making your way to and from your vehicle, have your keys ready and walk with confidence so as not to draw attention to yourself; even if you've lost sight of your car, act as though you know exactly where you're going.
But even if you do everything right, there are still instances when you may face danger in a parking lot. In many situations, it's possible to seek monetary judgments against Georgia parking lot managers or owners who fail to provide adequate security and safety for their guests. Such parties may be liable for damages, including lost wages, medical expenses or other costs associated with your personal injury. Requesting a consultation with an attorney experienced in premises liability affairs is a logical first step to take in the claims process.