How to Avoid a Parking Lot Accident During Holiday Shopping?Published: Nov 28, 2022 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
People across the country are getting ready for decorations and festivities, as well as rushing to the shopping malls for gifts to share with friends and family. You may think that the roadways are most unsafe during the holiday season, given that everyone is rushing to the store. According to State Farm, about 40 percent of all car accidents occur in parking lots.
A parking lot can be difficult to navigate. With the density of parked cars in close quarters and driving that requires spatial awareness, a parking lot is a prime place for an accident to occur. When factoring in pedestrians, careless drivers, and all manner of distractions, remaining focused in a parking lot can be lifesaving.
There are other factors that can cause an accident in a parking lot, including:
- Blind curves or visual obstructions
- Driver distraction, including texting, talking on the phone or passengers
- Failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks
- Multiple vehicles attempting to park in one spot
- Poor lighting and sun glare
- Traffic violations and failure to obey traffic laws
- Vehicles reversing out of a parking spot
Whether its shopping for Christmas, or getting groceries for Thanksgiving, you can expect the parking lots to be extra busy this time of year. Here are a few tips at avoiding a parking lot accident this holiday season:
- Drive defensively: Pay attention to what is around you and anticipate the actions of others as if they are not aware of you. Always drive slow as well, particularly at night when visibility is low. When backing out or driving near a storefront, check what is around you first and do not solely rely on your rearview camera.
- Practice parking lot safety: Keep in mind that the closest parking spot to the store doors is sometimes not the safest place to park. With the daytime being shorter in the winter, you will likely be parking in the dark, so find a well-lit spot with plenty of room. A well-lit spot helps keep you and your car visible and safe.
- Avoid distractions: Studies show that over 66 percent of drivers say they use their phone while driving in a parking lot. Keep the phone and other distractions away until you are fully parked, and your engine is off. Likewise, when you are leaving the lot, as soon as you start the car, leave the phone and other distractions alone.
- Watch for snow and ice: Here in the Midwest, the holiday season also brings low temps, snow, and ice. Parking lots are usually plowed after the streets, so be aware of its hazards while driving or walking through a lot even if the streets have been cleared. Be aware of what icy or snowy conditions do to your all-wheel drive system, and always drive slower than the speed limit to improve your maneuverability.
- Practice pedestrian safety when walking and driving: When you are a pedestrian in a parking lot, keep in mind that the drivers around you are likely distracted or not driving defensively. Some drivers may not even see you while you walk by, especially at night. Make yourself as visible as you can by walking in posted walkways, use sidewalks, and walk under streetlights and well-lit areas.
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