Navigating a busy parking lot can be a bit of a challenge, to be sure. But like the roads, there are rules for drivers to help avoid foreseeable motor vehicle accidents. When accidents happen in parking lots, it can be difficult to determine who had the right of way and who was at fault. Because visibility may be limited, drivers have to be especially careful when backing out of a parking spot.

Let’s say, for instance, that you are parked near a large SUV or van and you can’t see beyond it to determine if cars or even pedestrians are approaching your vehicle when you pull out. It’s the drivers’ responsibility to take exceptional care when pulling out of a parking spot and driving in a parking lot in general. 

Drivers are required to check all of the spaces around them for oncoming traffic or pedestrians before driving in or out of a parking lot or space. This includes blind spots and all mirrors. Many accidents occur when drivers are unaware of a nearby car (perhaps pulling out of a parking spot) or pedestrians. For that reason, it’s important to drive at low speeds so that you have enough time to stop should a pedestrian or vehicle approach.

Drivers are required to yield to nearby cars that have already begun to pull out of a parking spot nearby, in order to give them the room they need to leave the lot safely. They are also required to yield to any pedestrians they encounter, even if it’s not in a crosswalk. 

In some really large parking lots, there are perimeter lanes and parking lanes. Perimeter lanes, which surround the lot, typical host traffic getting to the parking lanes. Parking lanes are those outside of the parking spots, used to get in and out of lanes and feed into perimeter lanes. Drivers in parking lanes are typically responsible for yielding to drivers in perimeter lanes. If a driver in a parking lane does not yield to oncoming traffic in perimeter lanes, they are often found to be responsible for any resulting accident.

Also, when parking lots have traffic control devices like Stop or Yield signs, it’s important to note that those devices take precedence over these generally observed rules as they are meant to control traffic in a very specific way so as to minimize risk to all. 

When the Parking Lot’s Design is “Defective”

A driver that has been injured in a parking lot that has significant design flaws or hazards that increase risk may have a personal injury claim against the lots’ owner(s). This kind of claim would fall under premises liability since fault is determined based on a “defect” in the design of the parking lot where the owner knew or should have known that design issues with the parking lot could cause accidents.. This could include a lack of signage for large, multi-storied lots, for instance, poorly lit parking garages, and much, much more.

This kind of personal injury automotive accident claim is certainly rare since most parking lot accidents occur at really low speeds.

If you find yourself injured as a result of an accident of any kind and wish to have your case reviewed by an experienced Chicago personal injury lawyer, call Bizzieri Law Offices at 773.881.9000. We fight hard to ensure you receive the damages you deserve. offer a free case review and never charge a fee unless we recover damages for you.