https://hdfleet.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/fleet-parking-lot-safety-banner.jpg Fleets with the best records know that safety starts in the workplace and more specifically, right in a company’s own backyard and parking lots. Fleet operators that build safety practices into their business culture reap benefits that drive compliance from the parking lot to the highway. Too often, however, parking lots and garages are overlooked when it comes to implementing the best practices for fleet safety. In fact, almost two-thirds of crashes relating to the delivery of merchandise happen in parking lots. While those types of accidents are less likely to be deadly, they are often more costly, often surpassing insurance deductibles. Parking Lot Safety 101 Over 50,000 collisions happen in parking lots and garages annually, leading to more than 500 fatalities and 60,000-plus injuries, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Further, about 300 people are killed and 18,000 are injured by drivers who are backing up, usually in parking lots. NSC analysis of government data indicates that 9% of pedestrian deaths in parking lots are due to backup incidents. As a fleet manager or operator, one way to avoid these tragedies and mishaps is to incorporate a reverse parking policy into your best practices for safety. Not only will drivers and pedestrians be safer, but you’ll save accident-related expenses. Telematics makes it easier for companies to ensure drivers are being compliant with parking lot safety rules. Reversing Into Parking Lot Safety Backing into a parking space — known as reverse parking — is a simple way to reduce the risk of collisions. When drivers back into a parking space, they can drive forward out of the spot, which is much safer for cars, people, and other objects behind or to the side of the vehicle. It’s dangerous to back out of a parking space because of numerous blind spots — like cars parked next to you or a pedestrian suddenly passing behind you. Backup cameras and other rear-visibility systems make it much easier for drivers to go in reverse but that doesn’t discount the fact that driving forward out of a parking space is just safer. Going in reverse and nine-point turns also consume more fuel. The National Parking Association (NPA) indicated that the future of parking will be rooted in automated parking lots, parking assistance, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Reverse Parking Misconceptions Reverse parking is all about making the environment safer when the driver leaves the parking space. Despite the benefits of reverse parking, numerous misconceptions have prevented the maneuver from having mainstream acceptance. The reality is, however, that no special skills are needed to back into a parking space. Even people who have issues with spatial relationships can master the skill of reverse parking. Another misconception about reverse parking is that it takes longer and can clog traffic. The reality is, however, that disrupting the flow of traffic will be worse when backing out — and can cause an accident, which is extremely time-consuming, aside from being costly.