41 percent of accidents take place in parking lots

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A parking lot in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

41 percent of all traffic accidents in 2020 are parking accidents: In the 11 full months of the year, there have been 25,000 traffic insurance cases with 10,300 of them involving parking.

According to Ülli Reimets, head of the Estonian Motor Insurance Bureau's loss prevention department, the dark months of fall and winter cause many people to collide with other cars while reversing into a parking space.

"61 percent of all accidents over the last three Decembers were caused by reversing. Usually, the parked vehicle to the side is the one damaged," Reimets said.

"Mall parking lots in December are more busy in December, which is why people should be careful. Maneuvering is made more complicated by poor visibility, rainy weather and car windows, mirrors and cameras can be foggy, dirty or frozen," Reimets explained.

Reet Veilberg, traffic insurance manager at If Kindlustus, said there is a right and wrong solution after causing a traffic accident.

"The right solution is to formalize the incident on the spot. If you hit another car in a parking lot and cannot find the owner of the other car, you have to call the police and register the accident. The victim car will be reimbursed under the motor insurance and the problem will get solved," Veilberg said.

The incorrect solution is to leave the scene. "Motor insurance will reimburse the victim but the causative agent will have to pay out of their own pocket. The guilty party is often found, as there are a lot of cameras around shopping malls, a lot of cars have dash cameras and there are a lot of bystanders. In addition, you can be fined for leaving the scene," Veilberg added.

Voldemar Vaino, chairman of the board of Inges Kindlustus, recommends parking far from the mall's entrance when going Christmas shopping. "Our data shows that the further you park from the entrance, the less likely you are to be involved in an accident," Vaino said.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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