Posted in Car Accident on October 18, 2023
Parking lots can be difficult to navigate, especially if they have confusing designs and a lack of signage directing motorist and pedestrian traffic. If you get involved in a parking lot accident in Texas, you may not know who is responsible for your property damage or medical bills. You might need to hire a car accident lawyer in San Antonio to help you protect your legal rights.
Vehicle Rights-of-Way in Parking Lots
Parking lots in Texas abide by the same traffic laws and roadway rules as other roads in the state. Drivers must obey any signs that are posted in a parking lot, such as stop signs and one-way road markings. In addition, the following basic rules apply:
- Motorists should always yield to vulnerable road users: bicyclists and pedestrians. Motorists should constantly be on the lookout for these individuals in a parking lot – including small children who may dart out from between parked cars.
- Motorists who are backing out of parking spaces must yield the right-of-way to people in the aisle. This includes pedestrians and other motorists. Someone backing out should proceed slowly and look for oncoming traffic.
- Drivers who are turning left into an aisle in a parking lot must yield the right-of-way to oncoming vehicles. Drivers who are making right-hand turns have the right-of-way. However, they must yield to vehicles that are parking and pedestrians walking.
- When pulling out of a parking lot in Texas, the vehicles that are already on the road have the right-of-way. The driver leaving the parking lot must yield to any pedestrians walking on a sidewalk or crosswalk when exiting.
Parking lots can be busy and chaotic environments, especially when drivers are unaware of the applicable right-of-way laws and fail to yield when they lawfully should. The number one rule to avoid parking lot collisions is to remain vigilant.
Pedestrian Rights-of-Way in Parking Lots
Under Texas law, pedestrians have the right-of-way when they are crossing the road at marked and unmarked crosswalks. In a parking lot, pedestrians have the right-of-way on any marked pedestrian pathways. Typically, they are leading to and from the store’s entrance. In addition, drivers who are navigating the parking lot or backing out from parking spots must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians walking in aisles.
Parking Lot Safety Tips
When navigating a parking lot in Texas, help prevent accidents by practicing defensive driving. This means assuming that everyone around you will break the rules and remaining alert to your surroundings at all times. Never use a cell phone while driving in a parking lot, as distracted driving greatly increases the odds of a parking lot collision.
Reduce your speed in a parking lot to prepare for the possibility of a pedestrian or motorist suddenly entering your space. When backing out of a parking spot, proceed slowly and be on the lookout for drivers and pedestrians who may cross behind your vehicle. Look for other drivers who may be backing up at the same time as you, as well. Keep in mind that you may be in their blind spot.
If you get involved in a parking lot accident in Texas that causes bodily injury or property damage, do not hesitate to consult with a San Antonio personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Maloney & Campolo. We can help you seek financial compensation from the at-fault party. We understand how Texas’ parking lot laws work and can determine liability for your crash to help you bring a claim against the correct party. Call (210) 429-8051 today for a free case review.