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How Safe Is Your Parking Lot?
Businesses can be held liable for injuries that occur on their premises, and that includes parking lots. Depending on the type of business you have, the parking lot may be the most dangerous area on your property. If your parking lot is not owned and managed by a third party and is therefore your responsibility, discuss parking lot safety with your business lawyer and business insurance agent. Our knowledgeable agents can help ensure that your business is protected against liability for parking lot injuries.
Parking Lot Problem Areas Business Owners Should Address
The following are common areas to address in a parking lot for the safety of your employees and clientele.
Crimes are committed less frequently during the daytime and in well-lit areas, so proper lighting can be an effective form of parking lot security. Better lighting in the parking lot can help protect your customers and employees, not to mention lower your business’s exposure to liability for parking lot injuries. A well-lit parking lot helps prevent not only crime but also pedestrian trip and fall accidents.
As stated by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), improving lighting to prevent crime is grounded in:
- Situational crime prevention. This perspective focuses on reducing opportunities for crime, while at the same time increasing the potential offender’s perceived risk of apprehension.
- Informal social controls and community cohesion. These play a key role in crime prevention. Installing or improving lighting in a parking lot or other area is a sign of positive investment and signals that efforts are being made to increase safety. This may result in an increased interest among employees, customers, and visitors in watching over the area.
Visible Security Cameras
Criminals who know they are being recorded are much less likely to strike. Visible security cameras can go a long way toward deterring parking lot crime.
Parking lot security is often overlooked. This is a major oversight, as the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) has reported that more than one in 10 property crimes occur in parking lots or garages. According to the Women-Safe Network, 25% of rapes occur in a parking garage or public area. Posting security guards can significantly upgrade the security of your building, grounds, and parking lot. Although cellphones are common, installing an emergency phone that connects directly to the police can also help improve parking lot security.
Controlling the flow of traffic can minimize the risk of accidents by preventing cars from driving in the wrong direction. Installing speed bumps, marking parking spaces with visible lines, and designating separate entrances and exits can help you control traffic flow.
Parking Lot Layout
Your parking lot layout should include parking spaces large enough to accommodate most vehicles, with plenty of room for drivers to easily enter and depart. Well-designed pedestrian walkways placed in busy areas of the parking lot can remind drivers to anticipate stopping, discourage pedestrians from cutting across and conflicting with vehicle traffic, and help prevent pedestrian accidents.