Slip and Falls Involving Parking Lot Wheelstops
June 17, 2016
Typically when one thinks of parking lots and the types of injuries that occur on their premises, they might think of automobile accidents involving pedestrians or slip and falls that are weather-related. However, there are a large number of accidents occurring that involve pedestrians who suffer slip and falls from wheelstops.
A wheelstop is also known as a curb stop or a parking block. For drivers they are meant to be “reminders” or indicators of parking barriers between spots. But, for pedestrians, wheelstops are trip and fall hazards and have caused hundreds of injuries in parking lots across the United States.
Wheelstops can be made out of various materials but are most commonly constructed with concrete, wood, metal, plastic or rubber. They are also weighted or secured into the ground so that they stay in one spot and cannot be moved from the weight of a car gently knocking into it when attempting to secure a parking place.
However, just like all other products, mistakes can be made. Wheelstops can be damaged from automobiles and can crack and deteriorate. They can also remove parts of the concrete from beneath them, since from time to time they are actually pinned into the ground when initially secured. If they remove concrete, there is a hole that is left in its place. Wheelstops are not supposed to be installed in pedestrian crosswalks or any path and they are also supposed to be properly marked – or painted in a bright color – so that people take notice of them.
There are safety standards and protocols when it comes to inspecting wheelstops for the sake of insuring that they have not suffered damage and are not falling apart. Since they can further erode from rain, thus creating more of a gap, those who maintain parking lots should be especially careful to check to make sure that they are intact. Wheelstops are also not meant to be longer than 6 feet and no higher than 6.5 inches off the ground. There should be at least 3 feet between wheelstops so that pedestrians can safely walk between them, and there should be a sufficient amount of light or illumination in the area to further limit any trips, slips and falls.
There are many steps that can be taken on behalf of the property owners and managers who have business parking lots and areas to decrease the number of injuries sustained by pedestrians. Maintaining and inspecting wheelstops is a crucial step in protecting pedestrians from dangerous falls.
Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP
The personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger represent injured victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey in all types of personal injury cases, including slips and falls. Call our offices at 1-800-222-8792 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.