An unsecured car that’s left on the sidewalk on a Sunday afternoon can be deadly.
The problem is, there aren’t many places to put the keys in the ignition.
It’s easy to get into trouble, especially if you’re driving while intoxicated, and even if you get caught, there’s a very good chance the consequences will be severe.
You don’t want your car getting caught on fire, either.
A new study from the University of Toronto shows that drivers who hit parked cars with their cars have a 1 in 5 chance of being involved in a fatal crash.
“We wanted to see if we could find an effect,” said Andrew Wilson, an associate professor of criminal justice at the University’s Scarborough campus.
Wilson, along with his co-authors, found that drivers are far more likely to get a ticket than those who park in the roadway.
We wanted, and still want, to know that drivers were less likely to be stopped and searched at the scene of a crash when they were driving while impaired.
The researchers looked at collisions in which people were hit by cars that were parked in the street or on the curb.
As the researchers report in the journal Safety & Injury, when a car has the right of way, the driver is more likely than the other vehicle to be able to stop and ask for help.
In some cases, drivers were more likely if they were not wearing seat belts.
But when they are, drivers are less likely than other drivers to ask for assistance.
So how does the research stack up against other research?
“The research we’ve done in the past has tended to show that when you’re stopped and the police officer asks for your license or registration, the odds are that they’re going to find some alcohol in your system, and they’re likely to ask you to get out of the car,” Wilson said.
How the research was conductedThis is not the first time researchers have looked at the potential effect of parking in the road.
A study published in 2013 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that people who parked in a public park or on a public sidewalk were twice as likely to have a car crash than people who did not park there.
It wasn’t clear if the drivers who were stopped and questioned were more or less likely, but Wilson said he suspects it’s a strong possibility that the presence of the keys on the dashboard made the difference.
He said the study found that the risk of a car wreck was slightly higher when a driver was parked on a sidewalk than in a park or sidewalk.
Another study published last year in the Journal of Emergency Medicine found a similar result, and it showed that people stopped at a bus stop or at a stop light were twice the risk as drivers who parked on public sidewalks.
Why does this matter?
The study suggests that people are more likely not to ask to get help if they’re stopped by a police officer.
Police officers can sometimes be very helpful when they’re stopping people on the street, but there are other reasons why they might not intervene.
“I think there are a lot of reasons why it’s not a good idea to stop someone in a car, whether it’s because they’re not wearing a seat belt, because they aren’t wearing a helmet, because of speed or the speed of the traffic, whether they’re on their phone or something,” Wilson explained.
There’s a lot more that can be done to make sure that people have a clear lane, but that can’t always be done by stopping them in the middle of the street and asking for identification.
You can still take the safest route, but the best way to do that is to follow the laws and keep driving safely, Wilson said, adding that it’s important to remember that if you see a police car that has a white light on it, that means it’s safe.
If you do need to get the keys out, you should keep your doors locked, use a turn signal and stay in your lane, he said.
You can follow all of the Polygon coverage of this story here.
Subscribe to the Polygram newsletter for the latest in news, research and technology.