Don’t let the slow speeds in parking lots fool you, parking lot accidents are one of the most common accident types in the trucking industry. And because of the sheer volume of parking lot accidents, they also make up the most expensive type of accident for many trucking companies. As a driver, you may be aware of the safety precautions needed on the open road, but sometimes we forget that parking lots can be just as dangerous. These types of accidents are the easiest to prevent and by following a few simple principles will help you avoid these costly and timely mistakes.
Types of Parking Lot Accidents
When entering a parking lot, you may be thinking about the paperwork you need to complete, looking forward to the break you are about to take, or could be distracted by looking for a parking space, leading you to forget about the dangers of parking lots. Parking lots contain many stationary and fixed objects, as well as moving people and vehicles that make maneuvering through a parking lot or truck stop hazardous. Here are the most common types of parking lot accidents that you should be aware of:
- Collisions with stationary or even fixed objects
- Vehicle collisions
- Intersection crashes
- Slipping and falling
- Lift gate injuries
- Entry and exit injuries
Use Creep Mode
The root cause of the large majority of parking lot accidents is speed. At C.R. England, we have the policy of no more than 5 MPH in parking lots. Reducing your speed is such an easy way to stay safe in parking lots, as it allows you take note of what is around you, gives you more time to react to changing surroundings, and lessens the damages if an impact were to occur.
Nearly all C.R. England trucks are equipped with Creep Mode, an awesome tool that will help you reduce your speed in parking lots. Creep Mode is a feature that takes control of the speed of your truck and will never go faster than 5 MPH, allowing you to focus on your surroundings. You should always use this feature in parking lots, and here are the easy steps to engage Creep Mode:
- Put the truck in “D” (Drive)
- Gently tap the throttle
- Creep Mode is now engaged
- Upshift to 5th gear for more speed (up to 5 MPH). Do this by pulling the shifter stalk to you
- Cover the brake with your foot
Keeping your speed at 5 MPH is so easy! Creep Mode will ensure that you are not traveling too quickly in parking lots and will allow you to cover the brake, which will help you to stop quicker if a collision is imminent.
Get Out And Look
The second root cause of parking lot accidents is inattentiveness and losing track of your trailer. The large majority of parking lot accidents are collisions with the trailer and another object, not the tractor. It is very important to check your mirrors often and to always be aware of where your trailer is. Get out and look (GOAL) often to ensure you are giving your trailer plenty of space to maneuver. Getting out and looking at your surroundings is the easiest way to ensure that there is nothing your truck or trailer could potentially come in contact with. This is a simple activity that will give you peace of mind to know that you are maneuvering safely. When possible, you should avoiding backing, but if it is required, it is always a good idea to find someone who can spot you and safely direct you into your spot.
While parking lot accidents are very common, there are simple principles you can follow that will help keep you safe. By using Creep Mode to keep your speed at 5 MPH and remembering to GOAL, you can avoid being involved in a parking lot accident. Accidents stay with you for the rest of your career and can be very detrimental to your reputation. Take pride in what you do and work safe so you can return home safe.