I was just reading the AAA magazine and they talked about safety in parking lots. They talked about driving and parking, but I think it’s just as important to talk about maneuvering around in a parking lot while on a scooter or wheelchair.
An acquaintance of mine had a stroke and was recovering nicely. He was in the Walmart parking lot in his power chair and was struck by a car. He wasn’t killed, but his stroke recovery was over. He never really recovered and never will.
I thought that a parking lots probably was one of the safest places to be until I heard about that. After all, cars go really slow and everyone is careful while driving and parking, right?
I started thinking and looking around and realized how wrong I was.
Many parking lots are large enough to be relatively safe, but the bigger they are, the faster cars travel in them. Small parking lots have smaller parking spaces and smaller lanes to drive in. I don’t know what is safer, but certainly none of them is all that safe.
I know that we are invisible on streets, like motorcycles. I can’t quite figure out how we can be invisible in parking lots, but we are. People just don’t see us. So we have to drive like every sonuvabitch is out to get us. I suspect all of the accidents are just that - accidents. But we must be the watchful ones because the car and truck drivers are not.
We are not seen when somebody is backing out of a spot because nobody looks down. Most of the time, people use their rear view mirror and we seem to be in everyone’s blind spot. Rear view camera’s miss us as well.
When people are looking for a place to park, they are doing just that - looking for an empty spot, not for someone chugging along in a scooter at about 3’ tall. So you must be watching out for them, not the other way around.
People leaving the lot are just as dangerous. They are on their phones, settling their children down, trying to get home before the ice cream thaws. Dangerous folks those drivers.
Even tho you have the right of way, just get out of your car and into the store assuming you don’t. Repeat that thinking when leaving the store.
Believe me, you don’t care who has the right of way. Stay out of the way because no one can see you. Your safety is up to you.