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Why are parking lots so dangerous?

After enduring the high speed of a highway trip or the clogged traffic of the city, you may breathe a sigh of relief when you finally make it to the parking lot or parking deck outside your destination.

It's too early to relax, however. Parking lots and decks are a lot more dangerous than more people realize. Accidents inside lots and decks result in about 500 deaths and 60,000 injuries every single year.

What makes parking areas so difficult to navigate? Here's what the experts say is going on:

1. Drivers are distracted.

Distracted driving is a problem no matter where you are, so why is it worse in a parking lot? Partially, it's because a lot of drivers fall for the illusion of safety. Drivers who would never dream of fiddling with a navigation system or talking on a phone while they're roaring down a highway don't think twice about doing so inside a parking lot or deck.

2. Lots and decks can be confusing.

Unless you're particularly familiar with a parking lot or deck, they're easy sources of confusion. You can't always tell where you're supposed to turn. Further, you usually encounter at least a few drivers who cut across empty parking lanes -- making their own driving rules up as they go along.

3. There are pedestrians everywhere.

Pedestrians are a problem for a lot of drivers. If you're intent on watching for other vehicles, it's easy to miss someone crossing behind you on foot as you back out of a space. Pedestrians often fail to look when they cross a lot and will sometimes step out right in front of a moving vehicle.

To stay safe, you need to remain focused when you're in a parking area. If an accident does happen and you're injured as a result of another driver's negligence, make sure that you find out more about your options for compensation.

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