Speeding on Alberta highways and parking lots is a major issue leading to increased road accidents. Thus, to reduce the number of speed-related deaths and property damage, the Ministry Of Transportation in Alberta has granted the police the authority to immediately seize a vehicle if it is moving at excessive speeds, significantly above 50 km per hour over the standard speed limit.
When discussing the dangers of driving, a parking lot might not be high on the list. However, every year parking areas in Alberta see thousands of car crashes that lead to severe injuries and, at certain times, death. So the Ministry of Transportation has issued a specific speed limit in the parking areas, which you must follow at every cost.
Today we are looking at why parking lot accidents occur, the rules you must follow, how to deal with these accidents, and the parking lot speed limit Alberta drivers need to adhere to.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for car insurance in Alberta, learn more at Surex — one of the best insurance brokerages in Alberta.
The speed limit in parking lot Alberta — what is the speed limit?
In most cases, parking garages or parking lots have a specific speed limit.
Usually, the Alberta parking lot speed limit is 10 to 20 km per hour. However, if no speed limit is mentioned, you should always drive at a maximum speed of 15 km per hour.
There is a strong possibility of pedestrians and other cars crossing your path. So driving slowly is the safest way to avoid accidents in a parking lot. The slower your vehicle is, the quicker it can come to a halt if necessary.
Why are parking lot crashes common in Alberta?
Parking lot accidents are pretty standard, and it is due to the following reasons:
As per NSC data, instances of distracted driving are much higher in parking lots than on highways and surface streets. According to a survey, 50% of participants reported using their phone to make a call, adjust the GPS, or set reminders while driving in a parking lot.
In every busy parking lot, almost all the drivers park head first. This simply means they have to reverse their car into the traffic when leaving. So whenever you are backing out in a busy parking lot, the visibility is often affected by the other parked vehicles.
An inexperienced driver can get confused in a busy parking lot if they don’t know the right way to approach a traffic lane. Thus, confusion often leads to avoidable accidents.
Alongside distracted driving and poor visibility, speed is also a dangerous element. Driving at about 20 km per hour is not a big issue in most cases. However, this speed can be hazardous when jaywalkers and other cars pull out in front of you.
Parking lots can often be chaotic. For instance, you target an empty parking space, and suddenly another vehicle or child comes in front of your car. This is when you have to hit the brakes or reverse your vehicle. Combined with other distractions and unexpected events, this can lead to accidents.
So to reduce any chance of an accident in a parking lot, you have to limit distractions. You also need to drive slowly and be always ready for unexpected events.
Parking lot rules
Parking garages can be pretty confusing, especially for new drivers. Now let us dive into the scenarios and regulations.
1. If you are trying to enter a through lane
Most people driving in the parking lane around the parking garage are on the correct route. So if you are trying to move out of this line into a through lane, you need to hold your position until it is safe to make a turn.
2. If you are trying to exit the parking space
If you are leaving your parking spot, you need to ensure no incoming vehicles are in your way. If you are joining moving traffic, you are always advised to allow other cars to pass through first.
3. If you are driving through a parking lane
While driving through a parking lane, the parked vehicles should always watch out before reversing. However, if the driver is not paying attention or their vision is blocked, you should always be ready to press the brakes to avoid a collision immediately.
4. Follow signals
Parking lanes sometimes have various traffic signs that guide how to drive, and they must be followed at every cost to avoid accidents.
What if you are involved in a parking lot accident?
Accidents can happen to anyone, even if you follow the rules and abide by the speed limit. So by any chance, if you are in a parking lot accident, you must follow the following steps:
Check for injuries and call for medical assistance if necessary
Even a minor collision can cause accidents, so you must ensure that everyone at the scene is okay.
Call the police
Even if there are no injuries, it is always recommended that you call law enforcement for a police report to document the accident. The police report will include all the accident details and can also help determine the fault. It will also be necessary if you make an insurance claim.
Report the accident to your Insurance company
Most people ignore minor accidents and do not inform their Insurance company. However, if the other party finds damage to their vehicle, they may file a claim. So if your insurance company has no idea about the accident, they might deny financial help.
While waiting for the police to arrive, get all the relevant information about the other driver. It includes their full name, address, contact number, insurance deaths, and the vehicle’s model. If there are eye witnesses of the accident, try to get their information as well.
Additionally, click pictures to document the scene and damage to the vehicles involved. This will be required when you file a car insurance claim.
Parking spaces and garages can be your worst nightmare if you are not careful. As they are not directly a part of the national highways and don’t fall under the traffic and Highway rules, determining the fault can be difficult.
However, if you follow the guidelines and the specified speed limit of 15 km an hour, you can avoid any unpleasantries.