When most people think of car accidents, they think of high-speed crashes occurring on the highway or in a traffic jam. However, about 20 percent of vehicle accidents occur in parking lots.
There are many factors that can cause accidents in parking lots. They can be due to pedal application errors, sudden movements by pedestrians or other vehicles, excessive speed, poor visibility, driver distractions, or physical limitations impacting the driver’s ability to see what is around the vehicle or respond quickly to hazards.
Now that the holiday season is in full swing, parking lots are likely to be packed with busy, stressed-out shoppers, and it could be raining or snowing all the while. It is very important that you are aware of ways your volunteers, their passengers, and those around them can remain safe.
Tips for Parking Lot Safety
Take advantage of these tips to promote safety in the parking lots:
- Buckle up first. Make sure passengers are buckled in, before the vehicle is started. This may sound obvious but it can truly prevent many avoidable situations that end up being quite devastating.
- Back it up. Back into a parking space or pull all the way through to the next space if it is available. This will prevent your volunteers from having to back out in a tight, crowded parking lot, and will reduce the risk of accidents.
- Encourage a range of motion. Older drivers often have less range of motion in their heads and shoulders, and are less able to see side to side in intersections. As little as 15-20 minutes of daily exercise can help preserve the flexibility a safe driver needs. Make sure your volunteers are aware of this and encourage them to take these matters in their own hands.
- Don’t mess with distractions. With so many mobile devices and in-vehicle electronics, it is way too easy for drivers to become distracted. Make sure your drivers know that when they are ready to put the vehicle in motion, it is time to stop adjusting the radio, using the mobile phone or GPS, adjusting the seat belt, or even sometimes having conversations. These things should be done beforehand!
- Always be cautious. It is crucial that all drivers always remain extremely cautious and on their toes at all times. An accident could literally be right around the corner, and your volunteers should be alert and ready to act at all times.
Don’t allow an accident to turn this festive time of year into a stressful, costly one. For just $25 per year, a VIS membership will give you access to these tips and more to help you and your volunteers reduce the risk of accidents, injuries, or other on-the-job calamities. Join today!
Volunteers Insurance Service Association, Inc. (VIS) was established in 1972 for the purpose of providing insurance and risk management services for volunteer-based organizations. In addition to still providing these insurance services today on a nationwide scale, we have expanded to provide noninsurance resources for members to manage their risks and improve their operations. By transferring the volunteer risk exposure to our program, we can help you protect your organization. Contact us today at (800) 222-8920 today for more information on our programs and services.