The Connection Between Parking Guidance and Owner Liability
Many of us have been there. Scanning and searching for open parking as we cruise through a crowded garage. Suddenly, out of the corner of your eye you see a pedestrian crossing in front of your vehicle. Because your divided attention was shared on trying to identify an open spot, you see them perhaps an instant or two later than you might have otherwise. Thankfully, you’re able to get to the brake quickly and avoid a collision, but the close call compounds your stress level and makes for less than a pleasant parking experience. Or possibly you have been so distracted that you have struck a parked vehicle as you search for parking. If so, you understand that the activity of parking a vehicle can be challenging.
In crowded lots and garages locating an open spot, then aligning your vehicle to park, all the while remaining aware of other drivers and pedestrians in your surroundings takes a great deal of mental energy. Add to that the stress of time constraints and you have a scenario that is prone to producing accidents. That likelihood increases in a crowded environment the longer the search for parking lasts, particularly if there are other drivers attempting to acquire limited parking spaces. All of these factors can combine to create heightened frustration and rash decision making.
By providing clear, effective, and accurate guidance and availability data to drivers seeking to park within your facility, it is possible to reduce, perhaps even remove, one of these stressors. And as a result, the likelihood of an accident is reduced as parkers tend to be more patient and cordial when they are aware that other spaces are available. Similarly, informing drivers that a lot or garage is full eliminates fruitless searching through a full garage for open spots that don’t exist and eliminating added exposure to possible risk.
In either case, the goal is to reduce the time spent searching for a spot and therefore reduce congestion in the facility. Less congestion equals a lower probability of a collision or other incident, as well as lowering the overall stress levels experienced by the parkers and providing them with a more pleasant parking experience.
The presence of multiple cameras that are monitoring for vehicle traffic and space occupancy also means that you have more ‘eyes’ on the facility and therefore more opportunity for forensic evidence regarding any events that transpire therein. Clearly stating that your facility is under 24/7 video surveillance can also act as a deterrent to individuals who may be inclined to commit property or even physical crimes in a parking facility, particularly when it is evident that it is not simply an empty threat, but that the cameras are operational and are sending data to the parking guidance system, in real time.
Regarding liability, while it most commonly falls to the drivers involved in the incident, fault determination is handled by the insurance companies. That is unless there is a precipitating negligence that can be shown to have contributed to the collision such as poor or malfunctioning lighting, broken or severely deteriorated surfaces, inaccurate or misleading lane markings, etc. However, financial liability is not the only way that a parking facility can lose if there is a collision on their property. The congestion and nuisance that such incidents can cause can contribute to fewer parkers entering and exiting your facility and lost opportunities associated with that. This in turn might result in changes in user behavior, particularly if incidents become common. People tend to try and avoid repeating bad experiences, and that may drive them to find your competitor’s parking facility, even if it means it is not as desirable in terms of location or price.
All of these factors add to the many benefits that parking guidance systems offer to both users and facility operators. Combining this with the flexibility and scalability of the right system can make the addition of a guidance system and easy choice, and one that benefits everyone that uses the facility.