Why Do Airport Car Accidents Happen?
Traveling can be stressful, but one often-overlooked aspect of travel is airport car accidents. Airports are bustling hubs of activity, where the excitement and urgency of travel create an increased risk of vehicle accidents. From the chaotic parking lots to the intricate network of access roads, airports pose unique challenges to both drivers and pedestrians.
Common Causes of Car Accidents at the Airport
Airport car accidents are relatively common for several reasons, most of which are related to the unique airport environment, general road safety issues, and motorist’s compromised ability to stay focused when distracted, fatigued, or rushed. Below is a list of some of the most common causes of airport car accidents:
High Traffic Volume: Airports almost always experience a constant flow of vehicles, including taxis, private cars, rideshare vehicles, and rental vehicles. This high traffic volume, especially during peak travel times, increases the likelihood of accidents.
Diverse Drivers: Airports attract drivers from various backgrounds, including international visitors unfamiliar with local driving rules and customs. This diversity can lead to confusion, potentially causing accidents.
Complex Layouts: Airports often have complex layouts with multiple lanes, roundabouts, loops, and frequent signage, which can be confusing, especially for first-time visitors, those rushing to catch a flight, or travelers who are exhausted after a long flight.
Frequent Stops and Starts: The nature of airport pickups and drop-offs involves frequent stopping, starting, and pulling over. This stop-and-go traffic, coupled with drivers suddenly slowing down to look for passengers, can lead to rear-end collisions and other types of accidents.
Distracted Driving: Drivers at airports are often distracted, looking for specific terminals, gates, or passengers. This can lead to a lack of attention on the road, increasing the risk of distracted driving accidents.
Pedestrian Traffic: Airports also have high levels of pedestrian traffic. Drivers may not always be vigilant about pedestrians crossing roads.
Time Pressure: Many drivers are under time pressure, either rushing to catch a flight or to pick up someone who has just arrived. This urgency can lead to speeding and reckless driving.
Parking Lot Accidents: Airport parking lots are another common site for accidents. These areas are typically crowded, with drivers looking for parking spots and pedestrians moving between cars, creating the perfect recipe for low-speed collisions.
Lack of Familiarity: Regular commuters become familiar with their routes, but airports bring in many drivers who aren’t used to the airport’s specific layout, which can lead to mistakes.
Safety Tips for Airport Driving
Driving in and around airports requires heightened awareness and caution due to the challenges of navigating complex, congested, and unfamiliar roads. Below are a few things to keep in mind to ensure a safe trip next time you have to head to Charleston International Airport:
Plan Ahead: Familiarize yourself with the layout of Charleston International Airport before your trip. Knowing the location of terminals, parking areas, and exits can reduce last-minute lane changes and confusion. And keep in mind traffic patterns can change, so if it has been a while since you were last at CHS, it’s worth double-checking the current layout.
Allow Extra Time: Airports are often congested, so allocate additional time for your trip to the airport. Rushing increases the risk of accidents, and having extra time can reduce stress and the urge to speed.
Stay Alert: Airports are full of potential hazards and distractions, including pedestrians, luggage carts, and vehicles of all sizes. Constant vigilance is crucial. If you need to call or text someone you’re picking up, safely pull over to the side of the road or into the waiting lot.
Observe Signage: Airports are full of all types of signs, some of which can be confusing. Pay close attention to signs for directions, speed limits, and other instructions.
Maintain Safe Distances: With frequent stops and starts, keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you is vital. This space allows you time to react to sudden stops or movements.
Use Turn Signals Early: Flip on your turn signals well in advance. Whether you’re changing lanes, turning, or pulling over, providing early notice helps communicate with other drivers and reduces the risk of collisions.
Be Patient with Pedestrians: Airports have high pedestrian traffic. Always yield to pedestrians and be prepared for unexpected movements, especially near crosswalks and terminals.
Avoid Road Rage: Airports can be stressful environments, but maintaining composure is essential for everyone’s safety. Aggressive driving can lead to dangerous situations.
Of course, even if you take every precaution possible, some accidents are unavoidable. In these situations, you may be able to recover monetary compensation from the driver who caused the collision.
Have You Been Injured in a Charleston International Airport Car Accident?
If you or a loved one was recently hurt in a car accident at CHS, reach out to the dedicated Charleston personal injury attorneys at the Steinberg Law Firm. At the Steinberg Law Firm, we have a long history of successfully representing injury victims and their families and securing fair compensation for what they’ve been through. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call the Steinberg Law Firm at 843-720-2800. You can also connect with us through our online contact form.