Actor Gary Busey hit and slightly injured a woman with his car while he was backing out of a shopping center parking lot in Malibu, California, reported FOX News (2.14.15).
According to FOX News, citing a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Busey, 70, was backing out of a parking space when he hit the woman. She left after being treated at the scene of the accident. There was no evidence of alcohol or illegal substances.
Parking lot accidents are common. Pedestrians have the right-of-way in parking lots but many drivers do not watch carefully for them. Streets are often considered less dangerous than parking lots. At least on the roads the direction of traffic is usually known. In parking lots, vehicles tend to move in all directions. As a result, pedestrian parking lot accidents can result in serious injury and, even, death.
According to NBC News, the number of people hit by cars in lots and garages increased more than 70 percent between 2010 and 2013 (11.21.13). Drivers were considered to be at fault in close to 80 percent of the pedestrian accidents in parking lots, said experts.
There are a number of reasons why parking lot accidents occur.
- Poorly maintained facilities may have uneven surfaces, inadequate lighting, or piles of snow or ice. For pedestrians, these problems can result in slips and falls, as well as in accidents involving vehicles.
- Congestion in parking lots makes it harder to maneuver. A crowded parking lot increases the chances of a car colliding with another car or a pedestrian.
- Drivers backing out their vehicles have blind spots caused by vehicles parked on either side. This means drivers cannot always see if someone is walking behind their vehicle.
- Drivers distracted by cell phones and texting are a major cause of car accidents.
- Traffic laws like stop signs are unenforceable in private parking lots. Without these laws, some drivers increase the risk of crashes by behaving recklessly.
- Drivers focused on finding a good parking spot are often too distracted to notice pedestrians.
Awareness, by both drivers and pedestrians, is the way to prevent pedestrian-vehicle accidents.
The accident involving Gary Busey was the second accident in a week involving a celebrity on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu. Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner was involved in a four-car accident that left one woman dead.
The FOX News story cited is “Actor Gary Busey struck woman with car in California.”