According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, 1 in every 5 accidents occurs in the parking lot. That is about 20% of all road accidents. The number is more than 50,000 crashes in total.
Ontario is no different parking lot accidents are a common occurrence there. Drivers often forget the road rules when they are in a parking lot, which can lead to accidents.
This article will discuss the rules for driving in a parking lot, why these accidents occur, and how you can avoid them. We will also answer some of the frequently asked questions related to this topic.
Table of Contents
- What are the Parking Lot Accident Rules in Ontario?
- What Types of Accidents Can Occur in a Parking Lot?
- What To Do If You are in a Parking Lot Accident?
- Fault Determination Rules For Parking Lot Accidents
- Tips To Avoid a Parking Lot Accident
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Is it mandatory to report a parking lot accident in Ontario?
- Do parking lot accidents go on your driving record?
- Can you hit and run a parked car?
- Can parking lot accidents affect your insurance rates?
- Does the criminal code of Ontario apply to parking lot accidents?
- Is the owner of private parking responsible for any accidents on his lot?
- Will the car insurance company pay for parking lot accidents even if you are at fault?
What are the Parking Lot Accident Rules in Ontario?
To avoid accidents in the parking lot, the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario has defined a set of rules that needs to be followed. These rules include:
- The speed limit in a parking lot is 10 km/h.
- When backing out of a parking space, you must yield to pedestrians and oncoming traffic.
- You must use your turn signals when leaving your parking space.
- Park in designated spots only and do not block traffic flow.
- The right of way is with the vehicles entering the parking lot unless otherwise indicated by a sign or yield line.
- If you hit a legally parked car, you are at fault.
- If you hit an illegally parked car, the owner of the car is at fault.
- Do not park in a handicap spot unless you have a valid permit.
- If you open your door and it hits another vehicle or pedestrian, you are at fault.
- When exiting the parking lot, use caution and yield to pedestrians and traffic.
- You cannot drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- If you are involved in a parking lot accident, Ontario law requires that you do not leave the scene without exchanging your contact and insurance information.
- If there is property damage, you should also take photos of the damage.
- If anyone was injured in the accident, you must call the emergency services and wait for help. Once the police have arrived and filed a report, you can leave the scene.
If you follow these rules, you can avoid accidents and ensure the safety of yourself and others in the parking lot.
What Types of Accidents Can Occur in a Parking Lot?
Many different types of accidents can occur in a parking lot. Some of these are:
1. Accident While Backing Up:
One common type of accident is when a car backs into another car. This can often happen when a driver is backing out of a parking spot or driveway. Backing up accidents are especially common in crowded areas like parking lots.
2. Car Hits Pedestrian:
Another common type of accident is when a car hits a pedestrian. This can happen if the driver is not paying attention and does not see the pedestrian walking in the parking lot.
3. Two Cars Competing To Park in the Same Spot:
This type of accident can occur when two cars are trying to park in the same spot. For example, one car may be trying to park in a spot that is too small for two cars. In this case, the other car may try to park on the spot as well, resulting in a collision.
4. Driver Hits a parked Car:
This type of accident can occur when a driver is not paying attention and hits a parked car. It can also occur when a driver is backing out of a parking spot and doesn’t see a car in their blind spot. Always be aware of your surroundings when you are driving in a parking lot. Always check your blind spots before backing out of a parking spot.
5. Hitting Objects or Shopping Carts:
This type of accident can occur when a driver opens the car door and hits an object in the parking lot, such as a shopping cart. It can also happen when a driver hits a shopping cart left in the middle of the parking lot. Always be aware of your surroundings and follow the rules of the road.
What To Do If You are in a Parking Lot Accident?
You can be in a parking lot accident in two scenarios. One is that you have hit someone else’s car or someone has hit your car. Let us explain what you should do in either scenario.
If Someone Hits Your Car in a Parking Lot
If you are in a parking lot and someone hits your car, you should first call the police. The police will come and take down everyone’s information involved in the accident. Once the police have left, you should exchange insurance information with the other driver. You should also take pictures of the damage to both cars. After that, you can contact your insurance company to start the claims process.
If You Hit a Parked Car
If you hit a parked car, the first thing you should do is try and find the owner of the car. If you can’t find the owner, you should leave a note on the car with your information. Once you have done that, you should contact your insurance company to start the claims process.
It is important to know what to do in either scenario because you may be held liable for the accident if you don’t exchange insurance information or call the police.
Fault Determination Rules For Parking Lot Accidents
You need to know a few things about parking lot accidents and how insurance companies handle them to make a claim. You need to know that Fault Determination Rules apply to parking lot accidents in Ontario. These rules help insurance companies determine who is at fault for an accident.
The rules consider several factors, such as the type of accident, the location of the accident, and the injuries that were sustained. If you are involved in a parking lot accident, it is important to know these rules so that you can make a claim with your insurance company.
Tips To Avoid a Parking Lot Accident
Most people think that parking lot accidents only happen when someone backs out of a space or pulls into a space. However, there are many other ways that parking lot accidents can occur. The following tips will help you avoid being involved in a parking lot accident.
1. Pay attention to your surroundings:
When you are walking through a parking lot, be aware of your surroundings. Look for cars that may be backing out of spaces or pulling into spaces. Also, be aware of pedestrians who may be walking in front of or behind you.
2. Use crosswalks:
If a parking lot has crosswalks, use them. Do not try to shortcut through a parking lot. This can lead to accidents.
3. Obey traffic signs:
Just because there are no stoplights in a parking lot does not mean you do not have to obey traffic signals. Many parking lots have yield signs or stop signs. Be sure to obey these signs to avoid an accident.
4. Watch for turning vehicles:
When you are walking in a parking lot, be on the lookout for vehicles that may be turning. Do not assume that a driver sees you. If a vehicle is turning, make sure to give them the right of way to avoid an accident.
5. Park in well-lit areas:
If possible, park in a well-lit area of the parking lot. This will help you see better, and it will also help deter criminals.
Parking lot accidents are a common occurrence in Ontario. However, there are many things that you can do to avoid being involved in one. Be sure to pay attention to your surroundings, use crosswalks, obey traffic signals, and watch for turning vehicles. If you follow these tips, you will be less likely to be involved in a parking lot accident.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it mandatory to report a parking lot accident in Ontario?
Yes, you are legally required to report any car accident that occurs in a public space to the police. This includes accidents that happen in parking lots. If there are injuries or significant damage exceeding $2,000 to your vehicle or another party’s vehicle, you must report the accident to the police immediately.
If there are no injuries and damage is less than $2,000, you can report the accident to your insurance company, but you are not required to notify the police.
Do parking lot accidents go on your driving record?
Yes, parking lot accidents typically go on your driving record. If you are found at fault for the accident, it will likely result in points being added to your license, leading to increased insurance rates. If you are not at fault, the accident should not impact your driving record. However, it is always best to check with your local authorities to be sure.
Can you hit and run a parked car?
No, you cannot hit and run a parked car in Ontario. If you damage a parked car, you are required to stop and provide your name, address, and insurance information to the owner of the vehicle. If you fail to do so, you may be charged with hit and run.
Can parking lot accidents affect your insurance rates?
There is no definitive answer to this question. While parking lot accidents may not impact your rates as, say, a DUI or at-fault accident, they could still potentially affect your rates depending on the insurer. Generally speaking, if you are found to be at fault for a parking lot accident, it could lead to an increase in your rates.
However, if you are not at fault or if the damage is minimal, it is unlikely that your rates will be affected. Ultimately, it is best to check with your insurance provider to see how they handle parking lot accidents.
Does the criminal code of Ontario apply to parking lot accidents?
The answer is yes, the criminal code of Canada applies to parking lot accidents. However, parking lot owners can be found liable if their negligence caused the accident. For example, if a parking lot owner failed to maintain the premises properly, resulting in an accident, the victim may be able to sue for damages. However, Ontario’s highway traffic act does not apply to private parking lots.
Is the owner of private parking responsible for any accidents on his lot?
No, you need to know that in case of private parking lot accidents, the owner is not responsible for any accidents that occur on their private property. This means that if you are involved in an accident in a parking lot, you will need to file a claim with your own insurance company.
Will the car insurance company pay for parking lot accidents even if you are at fault?
Yes, parking lot accidents are considered to be “no-fault” accidents. This means that your insurance company will pay for your damages, regardless of who is at fault for the accident.
The only time that fault will come into play is if one of the drivers involved in the accident is found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If this is the case, then that driver will be held liable for any damages and will not be covered by the motor v