How to Reduce Parking Lot Accidents

This entry is part 3 of 17 in the series Slips, Trips & Falls

Do you know what the largest claim type is for Society Insurance? If you guessed slips, trips and falls you’d be correct. In terms of frequency and overall claim cost to Society Insurance policyholders, slip, trip and fall claims account for approximately 44% of overall claims. That being said, there are a number of steps both employees and employers can take to mitigate the risks of parking lot accidents. Obviously, during the winter months it’s not uncommon for there to be snow and ice in parking lots, but there are many other factors contributing to slips and falls in parking lots—all of which business owners should plan for.

Identify Parking Lot Hazards

Identifying hazards and conducting an audit of your parking lot should be high priority. Having the recommended controls in place will not only keep your customers and employees safe, but also protect your business from litigation.

Examples of Outdoor Hazards:

Uneven Walkways & Broken Pavement
All potholes should have a marker until repaired
Broken tire stop

What Factors Contribute to Fall Incidents in a Parking Lot?

  • Uneven parking lot surfaces (including potholes)
  • Damaged manhole covers, drain grates, tire stops, etc.
  • Leaks and spills of engine oil or antifreeze
  • Downspouts draining into parking lots
  • Speed bumps
  • Poor weather conditions

Customers can step into potholes when entering or exiting their vehicle, slip on engine oil, slip on ice, trip on speed bumps, or simply lose their footing on uneven surfaces of a parking lot. All of these factors contribute to parking lot accidents.

How to Prevent Parking Lot Accidents

  • Repair potholes and uneven surfaces as soon as possible
  • Use parking lot pothole markers
  • Ensure tire stops, steps, ramps and speed bumps are marked with a contrasting color
  • Downspouts should be routed to discharge water away from the building
  • Only use slip-resistant outdoor paint
  • Only install speed bumps when absolutely necessary
  • Speed bumps should follow American National Standards Institute (ANSI) guidelines
  • Locate speed bumps away from pedestrian traffic
  • Provide good outdoor lighting
  • Ensure parking lot is free of trash and debris
  • Place garbage cans in safe strategic locations
  • Remove debris from clogged drain grates
  • Install texture to any wooden steps
  • Ensure good handrails are available leading up steps
  • Sand or salt in advance of icy conditions
  • Clear snow from walkways and monitor for ice refreezing
  • Have snow/ice procedures written down and communicated to employees

Next Steps for Preventing Parking Lot Accidents

Business owners have a duty to take reasonable steps to protect customers from known hazards and to inspect their property regularly to find and remediate hazards. Safeguard your livelihood by investing a little time into a well-prepared outdoor safety plan. And remember, Society is here to lend a hand. Our experienced risk control team can assist you in your risk prevention efforts.

Watch Webinar on Reducing Outdoor Slip, Trip, and Falls

Additionally, consider this 5- Step Program for reducing the number of falls and establishing defenses if a claim is presented.

To learn more about the big difference Society can make for your business, contact your local independent agent.

Series Navigation<< Step-by-Step: How to Clean Up Spills in the WorkplaceThe Importance of Proper Restaurant Grease Removal for Kitchen Floors >>
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6 thoughts on “How to Reduce Parking Lot Accidents

  1. Sarah Packer

    My husband and I are starting our business soon, so I wanted tips and advice on keeping our parking lot safe. I didn’t know leaks and downspouts can cause falls in your parking lot. I wouldn’t want any of our customers or employees getting hurt, so I’ll keep sure to have a service do maintenance and clean our parking lot every so often, thanks to this post!

  2. Eli Richardson

    My uncle just bought a restaurant, and he wants to repair the parking lot. It was useful you listed lighting, and to ensure contrasting color in ramps and speed bumps. I’ll also recommend him installing pedestrian crosswalks lights, that way customers don’t have to walk across the parking lot.

  3. Henry Killingsworth

    I found it interesting when you explained that it is important for businesses to use paint that is slip-resistant when maintaining their parking lots. I’m always amazed at how precise, and straight the lines are that are painted onto asphalt parking lots. It would be interesting to learn more about the machines that are used to create the markings that are placed onto the asphalt.

  4. Greta James

    Wow, thank you for informing me that you can get paint for outdoors that is slip-resistant. About a week ago, I was talking to my church, and they mentioned that the parking lot lines are pretty much gone. They want to prevent car accidents, so I wonder if they should look into car park line marking services in the area.

  5. Rebecca Gardner

    It stood out to me when you explained that it’s the duty of business owners to protect customers from potential hazards in a parking lot. In my opinion, an important part of this is investing in parking lot cameras to ensure there will be proper documentation if any accidents do occur. Additionally, the presence of a camera can deter some risks like thieves just by being there!

  6. Rachel Frampton

    My sister would like to have her commercial building’s parking lot because it has a lot of cracks in it already. Well, I agree with you that some of the driveway’s most common damages are manholes and leaks. Anyhow, thank you for sharing here as well the importance of using slip-resistant outdoor paint.


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