What is the speed limit in a parking lot?
Speed is a critical factor to consider when driving, and it is the cause of many road accidents; therefore, we must always be aware of it. Often, we overlook the appropriate speed limit in parking lots because it may not be posted in some parking lots we visit.
Generally, most parking lots have a speed limit of about 15mph. However, this is a flexible speed limit, as most property owners dictate what they are comfortable with. In any case, it is critical to be cautious when you drive in parking lots to avoid potential hazards that may arise from overspeeding.
If you doubt the speed limit in a parking lot you are driving, always go slower than faster. You are better off arriving late at your destination than risking an accident.
This article points out the recommended speed limit in a parking lot and answers related questions.
What is the speed limit in a parking lot?
The National Motorist Association in America recommends drivers maintain maximum speeds of 15mph in parking lots. This is to ensure the safety of lives and properties.
Generally, parking lots have speed limits to guide drivers, and they usually post the maximum speed they expect you to drive. Therefore, you must follow every speed limit sign to avoid fines, fees, or accidents.
Where you cannot find specific speed limits, you should keep your speed at a maximum of 15mph, and you may even drive slower depending on the circumstance.
Speed limit signs
In most parking lots, there are signs to indicate the speed allowed. These signs help regulate drivers’ speed when using the parking lot. However, if you cannot find any speed limit sign, you should stick with the default 15mph limit.
You should also know that property owners have the liberty to set their speed limits. In most parking lots, they indicate their speed limit on a sign, which is usually placed at the entrance. These signs typically bear a number with the letter “M” or “MPH.”
Some parking lots can have a speed limit of up to 20mph, but you would commonly see 15mph signs. However, suppose you are unsure of a parking lot’s speed limit. In that case, it is better to go wrong for being cautious than the opposite.
What should I do when driving in parking lots?
It might sound simple enough when we talk about driving in a parking lot, until the moment you find yourself in a tight space with hundreds of other cars.
If you feel concerned about maintaining your safety when driving in a parking lot, here are some simple tips you can follow:
- Slow down: Just as it is with highways, most parking lots have their speed limits posted. In general, you should drive anywhere between 10 to 15mph, and depending on the environment; you might want to go even slower.
- Look around for signs: Most parking lots have signs everywhere. For instance, there are exit signs, yield signs, “do not enter” signs, and traffic flow signs. Following these signs will help ensure your safety.
- Be careful when backing out: Sometimes, it could be difficult to back out of a parking space in a parking lot. Therefore it is essential to take extra care while moving slowly and utilize a backup camera to assist you if your vehicle has one.
What are the common causes of parking lot accidents?
Parking lot crashes are pretty common, and this is due to some of the reasons listed below:
According to a 2016 National Safety Council (NSC) pool, two out of three people are usually unattentive while driving in a parking lot. Distracted driving is among the prevalent causes of accidents on highways and streets. This data shows that most drivers often adjust the GPS, make a call with their phones, or even try to text while driving in a parking lot.
In busy parking lots, most drivers park their vehicles head first, requiring them to reverse their cars into the traffic when leaving. So it might be challenging to have a clear view of where you’re going when backing out of the parking lot primarily due to other vehicles blocking the view.
Along with poor visibility and distracted driving, overspeeding is also dangerous. Driving at about 20 mph might not be a big deal; however, this can soon become hazardous if a jaywalker or other vehicles pull up before you.
Parking lot guidelines
For new drivers, parking lots can quickly get confusing. Below, we will look at five critical guidelines to follow when using the parking lot to ensure your safety and that of others.
Sticking to speed limits
As we’ve mentioned, most parking lots display speed restriction signs within the environment, and violating these limits could be counterproductive.
Apart from other vehicles, pedestrians, primarily children, are common in parking lots. It would be best if you kept an eye on the road while driving within the safe speed limit.
You should be considerate and follow the directional signs when parking your vehicle in a parking lot. You would make it easier for other drivers to get out of their cars and for you to get into your vehicle if you park in the middle of the parking lot.
Avoid waiting for anyone
You might cause a traffic jam if you decide to wait for others to walk into their car, load their shopping bags, get in the car, turn the key and drive out of the parking spot.
Parking your vehicle further away and walking in the distance will save you some time, as waiting for other drivers to return to their cars will cause delays not just where you are but all over the parking lot.
Making use of turn signals
Using your blinkers in a parking lot can save you a spot. If you intend to park in an empty spot but have vehicles behind you, you must activate your blinkers, which will serve as a means of alerting the cars behind you and the pedestrians in front of you.
Driving in the right direction
Most drivers assume that regular driving rules are no longer applicable once in a parking lot. They may think nobody cares if you drive through the parking lot in the opposite direction; however, other drivers are concerned about this.
In this regard, most parking lots have arrows pointing toward the appropriate driving direction. If there are no arrows to denote direction, you should always look at how the parking stalls are designed in the parking lot.
According to the National Safety Council, more than 50,000 accidents occur in garage structures and parking lots yearly. Although most of these accidents are due to a lack of attention while driving, many are often caused by disobeying speed limits in the parking lot.
Therefore, it is essential to stick to the stipulated speed limit of every parking lot you drive in, to avoid unnecessary accidents that could cost lives and properties. However, in cases with no given speed limit, you can always fall back to the recommended speed limit, which is about 15 mph.
Also, this speed limit is not a one-size-fits-all; you should constantly adjust your speed according to the traffic conditions of your driving environment. However, we would like to stress that even if the traffic is light, do not exceed 15 mph, as you may not be able to prevent a potential accident when you overspeed.
What is the speed limit in most parking lots?
Most parking lots have a speed limit of 15mph, as the National Motorists Association directed. However, you should adjust your speed depending on the current traffic situation in the parking lot.
What is the speed limit in parking areas or service roads?
There are no hard-and-fast speed limits that you must follow; however, you should keep an eye out for a sign that denotes the speed limit that is allowed in that environment, or else, remain anywhere between 10 to 15 mph.
Is the speed limit ten mph?
The speed limit could be 5 to 15 mph, depending on what the parking lot owner feels comfortable with. Remember, speed limits may vary since parking lot owners can decide to set their speed limits, therefore, keep an eye out for speed signs.
Is it okay to overspeed in a parking lot?
No. It is entirely illegal to overspeed when there’s a speed limit that you should follow. Suppose your overspeeding results in accidents and property damage, and the parking lot owner may sue you.
Are there punishments for overspeeding in a parking lot?
You can be subject to specific punishments for overspeeding in a parking lot, which could be a fine in certain areas. Similarly, some parking lots can have your vehicle grounded for a specified period before releasing it to you; Others may outrightly ban you, thus prohibiting you from accessing the lot, depending on the damage you’ve caused.