It seems like parking lots wouldn’t see very many car wrecks. After all, when you’re in a parking lot, you’re probably driving quite slowly. It’s not like highway driving when you might lose control because you’re exceeding the speed limit.

However, parking lot car accidents can cause serious injuries, and they happen more often than you might think. In this article, we’ll break down a few of the most common reasons these types of accidents occur.  


Smartphones have become a modern necessity. Very few people don’t have one anymore. If you don’t own one and have it on you when you go outside of the home, nobody can contact you if there’s an emergency. You also can’t communicate via social media or access various apps, and most people would prefer to have those abilities at all times.

Smartphones often cause parking lot accidents, though. If you’re talking on one or you’re texting on it, you shouldn’t drive. That does not stop some people. If you’re ever backing out of a space while using a cell phone at the same time, understand that you’re endangering yourself, anyone else in the car, and those around you as well. 

Talking with Passengers

You might also let a passenger in the car distract you. Maybe you’re having an animated conversation, and you feel you must respond or listen intently even while you’re backing up or maneuvering the car out of the lot and onto the street. Perhaps you feel you’re a responsible and careful driver, and you can do both things at once. 

That’s not always true, though. You can easily make a mistake in a parking lot if you let a conversation distract you. If necessary, tell the person in the passenger’s seat or the backseat they must remain quiet while you’re getting out of the parking lot. They may not like it, but their silence keeps both you and them safe.

Billboards or Signs

Maybe you spot a billboard or captivating sign somewhere while backing out of a space or exiting the lot. Companies make billboards and signs advertising services and products in ways that attract the eye. They put interesting graphics and eye-catching colors on them, so you have trouble looking away.

That can create real problems if the sign or billboard captures your interest. Someone juggling a sign on the sidewalk or doing tricks with it might cause a wreck as well. Ignoring such distractions makes a parking lot wreck a lot less likely. 

Putting the Car in Drive Instead of Reverse

It sounds strange, but some people will put their car in drive instead of reverse when backing out of a space. Maybe they have their mind on something else, like the dinner they’re anticipating or a sporting event they’re about to watch on TV. Perhaps they’re having relationship or job-related problems. 

No matter the reason, some parking lot wrecks happen if you put the car in drive instead of reverse. Sometimes, the opposite can happen once you’ve pulled out of a space. Putting the car in reverse rather than drive makes a fender bender likely if you let something distract you when there’s a car or pedestrian right behind you. 

Inexperienced Drivers

Sometimes, inexperienced drivers will cause wrecks in parking lots. A teenager who just got their license might do this. Maybe they have some friends in the car or the radio on, and that takes away their attention even more. 

Inexperienced drivers can put the car in the wrong gear, let a text message on their phone catch their eye, or maybe they’re adjusting the car’s navigation system. Anything along those lines can cause an accident if the individual hits a car or person nearby.  

Bad Weather

Bad weather can also cause wrecks, and that can happen in parking lots just like it can when you’re out on the road. Maybe it’s raining heavily, snowing, sleeting, or hailing. Any of those cause poor visibility. If you back out of a space too fast or you don’t move slowly enough while still in the parking lot, you might hit another vehicle or person.

Any of these can cause parking lot car wrecks, and they can cause more damage than you might suspect. If you’re in a parking lot, move slowly, and don’t let anything distract you. Just because you’re not out on the highway, that doesn’t mean you’re safe. Caution while in parking lots should become your normal routine.