We take parking lots for granted. We treat them like a casual place to leave our car while we run into a nearby building.
We’re usually so focused on either getting to the store/office/school/government building or getting into our vehicle to go home, that we seldom stop and think about how dangerous parking lots really are.
The truth is that every time you use a parking lot, you put your life at risk.
A surprising number of people are injured in parking lot falls every single year. In most cases the reason for the fall is innocent, you tripped on a stick, a pothole, or even your own feet. The problem with parking lot falls is that not only is there the danger that you’ll hit your head on the asphalt when you land and possibly sustain a traumatic brain injury, but while you’re down, there’s a chance a driver won’t notice you on the ground and will run over you.
The best way to avoid a dangerous fall is walking with care, staying well out of the routes the vehicles take through the parking lot, and not walking behind/in front of any running vehicle. If you do fall, yell at the top of your lungs so drivers will know you’re in distress and drive defensively and cautiously.
Drugs and other criminal activity are a huge problem in parking lots. There’s something about the layout of parking lots and the sheltered nature and accessibility of the parking garages attract a huge criminal element. This isn’t something you want to get mixed up in. Avoid groups of people who are simply standing around or who appear to be conducting business. Avoid making eye contact with these people. Once you’re in a safe place, contact the police.
Parking lot abductions are a serious problem, particularly for women and children. So many people are distracted by either plans or their cell phones that they are easy to grab and shove into a car. The best way to avoid being a parking lot abduction victim is to keep your head up, your ears free of any headphones so that you can hear an approaching car or footsteps, don’t walk in shadows, and enter your car as quickly as possible.
If you suspect you’re being stalked through the parking lot, abandon your plans to leave and go to the building and alert an employee to the situation.
The next time you’re in a parking lot, don’t take your safety for granted. Be aware of the potential danger and have a plan to stay safe and healthy.