Where do most car accidents happen in Halifax? The answer may surprise you.

by John McKiggan

After it was reported that Halifax was the most dangerous place to drive in Canada I thought I would do some investigation to see where most car accidents were happening in Halifax. After looking at Insurance company claim statistics and highway safety reports, what I found was that most collisions weren’t happening in one place, but in a number of similar locations.

Parking lots are dangerous

In Halifax, like most major cities in Canada, parking lots are the most common site for car accidents.

When you think about it, the statistic makes sense. Parking lots are usually crowded with cars with lot’s of people intent on going somewhere else who may not be paying a great deal of attention because they aren’t on the highway.

Who’s at fault in a parking lot collision?

As a car accident lawyer, I get lot’s of calls from people who have been in car accidents in parking lots and the number one question they ask is: “Who’s fault is it?”

What you need to know is that determining fault (lawyers call it liability) in a parking lot collision depends on the facts of every single case. So there is no general rule that all parking lot crashes are split 50/50.

But there are some general principles insurance companies use to determine liability in parking lot collisions:

  • If you’re moving and you hit a car that is parked, you are probably going to be found responsible for the accident. Seems pretty obvious when you think about it; if you’re driving you have to make sure that you are driving with complete care and control. So even if someone has parked their car somewhere they shouldn’t, you have the responsibility of avoiding that car.


  • You can be ticketed in a parking lot! Lot’s of people have told me they think that because parking lot’s aren’t streets or highways they can’t get ticketed for the same types of offenses they can be charged with on the roads. That isn’t the case. The Motor Vehicle Act applies to public parking lots and if you aren’t driving safely, are speeding, or fail to yield to pedestrians who have the right of way, you can be ticketed and fined.


  • Know when to yield. Just like on the highway, if you are entering traffic you must yield to oncoming traffic. So if you are pulling out of your parking space you must yield the right of way to any cars traveling in the lane you are entering.


  • Straight of way has the right of way. Usually the courts will presume that someone traveling straight has the right of way over someone making a turn. So if you are making a turn in a parking lot you must yield to any driver who is traveling straight in the lane you are turning into.


  • Hit and run rules still apply. How often have you seen someone bump into another car in a parking lot, causing damage, and then drive off? Just like on the highways, leaving the scene of an accident can result in a criminal conviction along with fines and possible imprisonment. Being convicted of leaving the scene of an accident will also usually result in your insurance coverage being cancelled. If you hit a car (or a pedestrian) in a parking lot make sure you stop and provide your name, address and insurance particulars.

Want more information about Car Accident Claims?

We have been representing victims of serious personal injuries for more than 25 years. We wrote Crash Course: The Consumer’s Guide to Car Accident Claims in Nova Scotia to help educate car accident victims and their families so they can have a better chance of receiving full and fair compensation.

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