As there are more vehicles than ever on NSW roads, it is inevitable that demand for car parks will increase.
However, this is having an impact on the number of stationary damage accidents outside supermarkets and malls. There is also the potential risk of injuries to other drivers and pedestrians in close proximity.
According to recent Royal Automobile Association (RAA) data, over half (53 per cent) of all stationary damage occurs in these locations, most often when one party is reversing. As well as this, car park accidents made up 13 per cent of all claims dealt with by the association last year.
RAA Claims Manager Hayley Cain said that damage often occurs at the big Coles, Woolworths and Foodland supermarket car parks.
"We urge all drivers to think about how close they park to other vehicles and how safely their car is positioned to try and minimise the likelihood of damage," she said.
Close to a third (32 per cent) of accidents occurred when someone was reversing. This suggests inattention and loss of focus are big contributors to these incidents.
Ms Cain reminded drivers that they have to display normal traffic behaviour when in car parks.
"You are bound by road rules in a car park the same as on the road so follow the speed limit, road signs and pedestrian markings. But most importantly, take extra care to check your mirrors and for other vehicles when parking and reversing," she said.
"If you reverse out of a park into them, then you are at fault."
How to avoid these types of accidents
If the space looks too tight to fit into, it probably is and it is better to move on. Ms Cain said drivers should be picky about where they park.
"Most of us have a favourite parking spot but consider parking further away from the lifts/entrance or going up an extra level rather than taking a spot that looks risky," she explained.
NSW car accident compensation
If you are involved in a car park accident and suffer a whiplash injury, you could be eligible for compensation. The motor accident compensation scheme extends to most motorists including drivers and pedestrians.
It is important to contact a car accident compensation lawyer as soon as you are well enough. They can offer advice about your possible claim and discuss the circumstances around the accident.
These lawyers operate on a no win no fee basis so they can advise you on your chances for success free of charge – if they think you have a case, it's completely up to you whether you engage their services.