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“Nationals October 2019

Underground Parking Garages: Are They Safe?

| February 20, 2021, 08:07 AM

Using a parking garage is a thing that most people do without even thinking about it. If you are driving a car in a big city, it is pretty much a necessity. However, it is important to be aware of the fact that many potential dangers exist in parking garages. Underground parking garages, in particular, have risks you may have never even thought about.

While the odds of encountering real danger in a visit to a parking garage are relatively low, if it is something that you do on a daily basis, you may want to do some research on the parking garage you use.

Accidents Are the Biggest Risk

The biggest danger present in a parking garage is the risk of getting into an accident. The possibility of an accident shouldn’t be too surprising to most people. After all, you have many vehicles maneuvering around in tight spaces. At high traffic times, the risk of an accident increases greatly. Some of the most dangerous times in parking garages occur:

  • Shortly before and after regular work hours
  • Shortly before and after sporting events
  • Shortly before and after concerts

During these periods, you have many vehicles moving around in parking garages. When people are leaving, this means a lot of backing up and reduced visibility.

The thing about accidents in parking garages that you may not realize is how dangerous they can be. When you think about a parking garage accident, you probably think of a minor fender-bender. You imagine an accident that causes a bit of structural damage to your vehicle but no real harm to any people involved in the incident.

The fact is, however, many of these accidents can be deadly. Every year there are over 50,000 crashes in parking garages or parking lots in the United States. These accidents result in approximately 60,000 injuries and 500 deaths.

One of the biggest factors in parking garage accidents is distracted driving. Many people feel that since they are going at slow speeds, they are safe to check devices. People arriving in a parking garage often use this period to check up on what they missed while on the road.

When using a parking garage, pay attention to what you are doing, keep your speed low, and always assume that others do not see you.

Liquified Creative Annapolis

Alone in the Garage

Another danger presented by parking garages is the danger of being attacked. Thieves often take advantage of empty parking garages in order to steal from unsuspecting victims. Some of these thefts consist of breaking into cars. However, others are more frightening and involve direct theft from people using the garage.

There are many things you can do to keep yourself safe while using a parking garage. One of the best precautions is being mindful of where you park. Parking in a well-lit area with high visibility is a great way to stay safe. It is also ideal if you can park near an exit. Parking on the ground level can help you avoid stairs and elevators where thieves may be lurking.

Taking note of where you parked can help reduce your time spent wandering around the garage, in search of your vehicle.

Another helpful precaution is to keep your head up. If you pay attention to your surroundings, you are less likely to be surprised by someone with ill-intent.

Having your keys at the ready can also help you stay safe. If your car key is in your hand as you approach your vehicle, you can quickly get inside your car and lock yourself inside. This will provide you with relative safety, especially if you start your vehicle quickly. You can also use your keys as a weapon in really dire circumstances where you can’t easily get to your car.

Getting loud can also help keep you safe if you are attacked. Having something that makes noise will draw attention to you and likely scare off a would-be attacker. Setting off your car alarm is a good technique.

If you are attacked in a parking garage, you may have a case against the garage for negligent security. What is negligent security? Negligent security is a facet of premises liability law. The idea behind the law is that you have the right to be reasonably safe when on someone else’s property.

If a parking garage does not take proper steps to provide a reasonably safe environment, then they could be responsible for any injury or property damage you sustain. If you feel that the parking garage could have done more to improve safety conditions, contact a premises liability lawyer to discuss your options.

Environmental Dangers

Another danger presented by underground parking garages may seem a bit less obvious. That is because it is invisible and odorless. That danger is carbon monoxide. Underground parking garages are required to have proper ventilation systems and sensors for detecting carbon monoxide.

Unfortunately, not all garage owners do a proper job of keeping their systems well maintained, and this can lead to a buildup of carbon monoxide and other harmful gases within their structures. A garage owner is liable for any ill-effects caused by car exhaust buildup in their garage.

Do Your Homework

Anyone using a parking garage daily should be aware of the risks they face when using these facilities and check around to find a garage that is well maintained and minimizes the risk of injury or illness. There are enough dangers to worry about in the world. You should not have to worry about any threats posed by parking your car.

Severn Bank

Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author - Stephanie Maris

Stefanie is a local blogger and social media content marketer from Maryland and most recently a wife and a mother. She has an unhealthy obsession with puns, sarcasm and caffeinated beverages.

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