One of the most dangerous things that most of us do at least a few times per week is to head out after dark to our vehicles in the parking lot after a long day of work.

However, statistically, it’s one of the worst times of the day in terms of safety to be walking outside.

Steps that you can take to avoid becoming a crime victim

You’ve likely heard that there’s a power in numbers. This logic applies to riding your bicycle along the road or walking to your car in a parking lot. Even if there’s a would-be criminal lying in wait to attack you, they’re going to be less apt to do that if your group outnumbers them and there are potential witnesses that may see what happens.

Leaving your building with someone else isn’t always possible. If you find that you must walk alone, you should first scan the path to your vehicle before leaving the security of your building. You should also look around the sides of your car as you get closer to it to make sure that no one is lurking around it.

You must have your keys handy, ready to place them in your door lock long before you arrive at your vehicle. You should also check your back seat as you enter your car to ensure that no one is hiding inside. Then, lock your doors as soon as you get inside.

Can you hold someone else accountable if you get hurt in a parking lot?

Criminals like dark parking lots where they can easily hide behind cars or blend in with the surroundings. They also like hiding in corners of parking garages and within stairwells. Each of these out-of-sight locations allows them to wait for their prey.

You may have a valid case for suing a Staten Island property owner if their poorly lit or unsecured premises left you vulnerable to getting hurt. A premises liability attorney can advise you whether New York law allows you to sue given your case’s unique circumstances.