Now that winter is upon us throughout most of the country, it’s important for insureds to make accommodations in their parking garage safety precautions. During the winter months, parking garages and parking lots become an increased source of slips and falls, skidding impacts with structures and pedestrians, ceiling collapses, holiday muggings and vehicle break-ins, and various collisions and mishaps.
According to a report issued by the National Safety Council, more than 50,000 crashes occur in parking lots and garages each year, causing 500 or more deaths and more than 60,000 injuries.
Whether your insured is a restauranteur, hotel owner or occupies an office building, parking garage safety is critical as part of a comprehensive insurance and risk management strategy. Following are some tips to share with your insureds:
- Be sure to keep the garage well-lit at all times. Dark environments are harder to navigate and can lead to a higher incidence of car accidents and crime. Protect employees and customers by upgrading all lighting.
- Ensure the pavement is properly cared for. Regularly investigate any potholes, cracks, and other asphalt imperfections. Such potholes and cracks can cause everything from a pedestrian slip and fall accident to a major car accident.
- Establish a clear flow of traffic. Parking lots and garages are hectic, as drivers hurry to find spaces, back up, and drive out. A parking lot or garage without a clear flow of traffic risks many accidents caused by drivers backing up and driving in the wrong direction or cutting across intersecting areas. This can be quite problematic in winter with the extended darkness and when traffic markings are not as easily visible. Making sure the garage parking is devoid of ice or extra debris will help the flow of traffic greatly.
Garage Parking in Multi-Family Properties For multi-family buildings with parking garages there can be an added level of liability, especially during the winter months. Garages have more hidden places than a surface lot, such as elevators, stairwells, etc. Owners need to ensure additional security features such as cameras and emergency call boxes are installed and operational. Again, high-quality lighting becomes paramount in a parking garage.