Danger is lurking where you might not expect – Orange County Register

Eleanor Nelson

Where are you most likely to have an accident as you go about your daily errands in the Village and surrounding towns? At an intersection of two well-traveled roads, like El Toro and Moulton? Anywhere with a stop sign that opposing traffic is likely to ignore? Crossing the street as a pedestrian?

Although I don’t have any statistics to prove it, I am pretty sure that one of the most dangerous areas you can navigate, whether you’re in a car or not, is a parking lot.

In a parking lot there are no stop signs and often no one-way signs. Drivers often back up without knowing what — if anything or person — is behind them. (All of us don’t have fairly new cars where the rear view appears on the dashboard screen.)

My husband and I had recently parked our car in the parking lot at the Village Community Center and were walking toward it when a car parked at our right began to back up. The car actually touched my husband’s arm before the driver realized we were there.

That parking lot also has no one-way street designation, so two vehicles can be trying to exit at the same time, one from the left, the other from the right, and find they are facing each other.

And what brilliant mind decided that parking lots need trees?  Why try to make a parking lot attractive at the expense of creating a hazard?  Each tree is usually surrounded by a short concrete wall, which is supposed to alert drivers to avoid it. The opposite is sometimes true.

I have a friend who had a traumatic encounter with the wall around a tree. Apparently, the tree was not very tall, and the concrete fencing was low, so she did not see either one as she tried to exit the parking lot at Oakbrook Village Shopping Center. As a result, she ran over the concrete, tilting her car so she could barely get out. After hundreds of dollars worth of repairs, she is not a fan of parking lot trees.

There is a lesson to be learned here. A parking lot is a dangerous place, and you should move both…

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