Tens of thousands of parking lot accidents occur every year, resulting a range of collision damage to vehicles from fender benders to major damage, and even death.
Some drivers don’t realize that there are right-of-way rules in parking lots.
While traversing the lines of parking spots, drivers may get confused as to who has the right-of-way. Parking lots have two basic types of lanes: thoroughfares and feeder lanes. A thoroughfare is a lane that exits to a street. These tend to be wider and are the main arteries of the parking lot. Feeder lanes are smaller lanes that begin and end at the thoroughfares. People who are driving in a thoroughfare have the right-of-way over those coming out of feeder lanes.
That means drivers must stop and allow traffic in the thoroughfare to proceed before moving out of a feeder lane. Similarly, anyone who is moving out of a parking space must yield to those who are driving through the lane. Just like a car coming out of a driveway onto a street, vehicles in a parking space do not have right-of-way over those already proceeding.
All stop and yield signs in a parking lot should be observed the same way as signs on any street. Failure to obey posted signs can leave you at fault in a resulting accident. If you do have a collision, make sure to call the police to fill out a report and call your insurance company.
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