Your parking lot should not be overlooked when creating your company’s safety policy. Annually, there are more than 50,000 crashes in parking lots and garages that result in more than 500 deaths and more than 60,000 injuries.
Incidents in a company parking lot are obviously bad for business. Between lawsuits, increased insurance premiums, and time off work due to injury, small business owners can’t afford to ignore the safety of their parking lot.
Why are parking lots dangerous?
Parking lots are dangerous because they are fairly unregulated environments where vehicles and pedestrians meet. There is no right of way, no posted speed limit, and they can be an opportune location for crime to take place at night or in poor lighting.
Many people do not pay close attention when they are driving in parking lots, which can result in all sorts of vehicular and pedestrian accidents. In a National Safety Council poll, 66% of drivers said they would make phone calls while driving through parking lots. 63% said they would program GPS systems, 56% would text, 52% would use social media, 50% would send or receive emails, and 49% would take photos or watch videos.
To mitigate the risks within your company lot, we’ve put together a list of helpful and actionable parking lot safety tips to create a safe environment for all vehicles, drivers, and pedestrians.
Parking Lot Safety Tips
- Install or repair lighting
- Install security cameras
- Control speed with speed bumps
- Hire the necessary security staff
- Train employees on tips and protocols
- Report suspicious activity to police
- Install vehicle tracking systems
1. Install or repair lighting
All parking lots and building entrances should be well-lit areas—this includes your main building entrance and any rear or secluded exits. Installing and maintaining the proper lighting ensures that people and vehicles are highly visible in your parking lot at all hours of the day.
2. Install security cameras
To increase the safety of your company parking lot, consider installing security cameras to help reduce break-ins, theft, and vandalism. Having visible security cameras in your parking lot can ward off criminals and add a layer of security for staff and customers.
Security cameras are also useful if an incident does occur in your lot because they provide documented evidence. Their installation may even reduce your car insurance premiums.
3. Control speed with speed bumps
Speed is a factor in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. It is nearly impossible to control how fast customers and staff drive through your parking lot—unless you install speed bumps.
Speed bumps can reduce driving speeds by 40% and should be considered as part of your parking lot safety strategy if it’s within budget.
4. Hire the necessary security staff
If your business doesn’t already have a security officer or parking attendant on staff, consider hiring one as part of your parking lot safety plan. Having trained safety specialists on hand is a great way to ensure the safety of your staff and customers.
5. Train employees on tips and protocols
Training employees on parking lot safety protocols is one of the best ways to avoid any incidents.
Here are some safety protocols to consider:
a. Do not wear headphones while walking in the parking lot
One of the easiest strategies for employees to stay safe in the company parking lot is to avoid wearing headphones while walking to and from their parking spot. If they are talking on the phone or listening to music, they are not fully aware of their surroundings, putting themselves and drivers at risk of an incident.
b. Practice safe parking lot walking at night
Encourage workers to ask for a security escort, walk to their cars together, or have a co-worker watch them from a window. You should also train employees on how to alert for help should they ever need to in your company parking lot.
c. How to drive safely in a parking lot
Like pedestrians, drivers should always be aware of their surroundings. The National Safety Council reports that distraction is the leading cause of preventable injuries in parking lots.
Drivers should always be focused on the road, watching for pedestrians and other vehicles, and never operating a cell phone or trying to multitask. Consider implementing a driver safety training program for your team as part of your overall safety strategy.
d. Keep valuable items out of sight
Leave personal belongings or valuables out of sight (e.g. in the trunk) to help prevent vehicle theft and break-ins. This is a handy tip to include in your employee training to help improve the overall safety of your company lot.
6. Report suspicious activity to police
This should be an obvious safety tip but many people don’t think to report suspicious activity to the police. If you, your staff, or your customers notice any suspicious activity such as loitering or someone attempting to open car doors, report it to the police.
For emergencies (e.g. if someone’s life is in danger), dial 9-1-1. If it is a non-emergency, know the local police non-emergency number for your area and make sure this information is easily accessible to your employees.
7. Install vehicle tracking systems
For company fleet vehicles, consider installing vehicle tracking software that notifies you if the vehicle has been hit or stolen. It tracks the exact location of the vehicle in real-time and these systems can lower your insurance premiums and significantly improve your overall fleet management strategy.
Fleet tracking for vehicle safety
Keep your fleet vehicles safe while they’re parked and while they’re on the road. Force Fleet Tracking offers GPS fleet tracking so you can monitor unauthorized usage, track your vehicles’ exact locations in case of theft, get disturbance alerts straight to your smartphone, and more. Try it for free for 30 days to determine if it’s right for your company.