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While many holiday shoppers are opting to make a majority of their holiday gift purchases online, the holiday season is still a time that stores are packed and parking lots fill up. Even during the 2020 novel coronavirus pandemic, you can expect the usual unpredictable traffic patterns and distracted drivers cause thousands of parking lot accidents that cost consumers millions of dollars each year. While slower parking lot speed may give people a false sense of security, the reality is roads are more dangerous than ever, including parking lots. According to State Farm, parking lot accidents increase by 20% during the busy holiday season.
With people across the country hustling to get their Christmas shopping done in time, mall parking lots have become a zoo. Because of this, the risk of car accidents and pedestrian accidents in parking lots are higher during this time of the year. 1 in 5 accidents take place in a parking lot according to the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association, however, during the holiday season that number increases to 2 in 5 accidents because of the high volume of traffic and shoppers rushing in and out of stores.
How To Avoid A Parking Lot Accident
According to safety advocates, there are a few safety tips you should keep in mind to make sure your holiday shopping goes as smoothly as possible.
- Be Aware. Do not get caught off guard; watch for cars cutting diagonally across the lot. Drive slowly down the designated path and always use your turn signal. While walking into the retailer watch for reverse lights and cross at crosswalks.
- Be visible. When pulling into a parking lot or parking garage, make sure your car’s headlights are turned on to make sure other drivers can see your vehicle.
- Give space. During the day, park further away from the building to reduce the chances of dings from other cars and shopping carts.
- Back in. If possible, reverse into a parking spot. This will allow you to pull forward into the aisle of the parking lot. On average, 51 deaths occur annually in parking lots caused by a driver reversing.
- Put the electronics down. Never handle your cell phone and GPS while operating your vehicle. 63% of drivers admit to programming their GPS while their vehicle is moving.
- Don’t linger. Don’t wait for the perfect parking spot. Driving up and down lanes looking for the best spot only gets you frustrated and allows for more chances of hitting another car or having them hit you.
- Slow down. Comply with speed limit signs and stop signs.
The Most Common Causes Of Parking Lot Accidents
Parking lot crashes can leave people severely injured. According to research, more than 60,000 injuries and 500 deaths are the results of parking lot crashes. It is important for motorists to remain just as vigilant in a store parking lot as they would on a high-speed highway.
- Preoccupied drivers busy looking for an open parking spot and don’t always notice pedestrians or other vehicles.
- Traffic laws differ in parking lots so there tends to be more reckless behavior and confusion.
- Drivers who pull straight into spots are required to back out. There are many more blind spots when reversing.
- Parking lots are congested with pedestrians and vehicular traffic.
At least 66% of drivers say that they allow themselves to be distracted while driving through a parking lot. When operating in an area with lots of pedestrians, it’s important that you don’t fiddle with the radio, items in the vehicle or your phone. Pay attention to your surroundings at all times.
Holiday Parking Lot Safety Tips
When dealing with the hustle and bustle of busy parking lots during the holiday season, remember to remain aware of your surroundings at all times. The holiday months bring colder and more dangerous weather conditions; causing slick roadways and walkways. In addition to parking lot collisions and crashes involving vehicles, parking lot slip and falls can also cause life-changing injuries. Parking lots are especially dangerous during the holiday season, here are a few extra tips:
- If you are holiday shopping during the evening, park in a well-lit area.
- Do not leave shopping bags in visible places inside your vehicle, the trunk is the safest place to avoid theft.
- Always lock your vehicle doors when you leave your car unattended. Try to park in well-lit areas to ensure visibility.
- Be aware of your surroundings and avoid using cell phones while walking through the parking lot.
What The Carlson Law Firm Can Do To Help
Although parking lot accidents may seem less severe than collisions that occur on busier roadways, they can still have serious repercussions. Unfortunately, even if you are as precautious as possible and follow every safety tip, you can still be a victim of an accident caused by negligent acts. The vulnerability of pedestrians and the unexpected nature of parking lot accidents can leave victims and their families with severe injuries and accompanying struggles.
If you or someone you love has endured life-changing injuries that have made it difficult to support yourself and your family financially and affected your quality of life, call our personal injury lawyers at The Carlson Law Firm. Our team has the resources, experience, and compassion for helping you and your loved ones focus on getting back on your feet while seeking fair compensation. We care. We can help.