During the busy holiday season, there are many distractions that make parking lots a fairly dangerous place to be. The combination of early sunset, increased traffic and pedestrians, scam artists, vandals and thieves, and people in a rush, can sometimes be a deadly combination. Unfortunately, just a momentary distraction or lapse in judgment can lead to tragedy.
Fourteen percent of all collisions in the U.S. each year happen in parking lots and can result in costly insurance claims for vehicle damage. Even worse, if you strike and injure a pedestrian, the costs are even higher in terms of both dollars and emotional distress.
Some basic tips can help keep everyone safe during the especially busy holiday season:
- Check your surroundings before you get in your car
- Backing up is dangerous. Be certain that nothing and no one is behind you before backing out of your parking space
- Keep your foot off of the gas as you back up, and be ready to break in an instant
- Look in every direction before pulling into a spot, or backing out of one
- Don’t text and drive
- Slow down and pay close attention to speed limits
- Be careful of pedestrians who may dart in and out between parked cars
- Park only in areas that are well-lit
- Keep your car windows closed and your doors locked
- Watch for cars that may cut diagonally through the parking lot
Everyone wants to have a safe and happy holiday season. If everyone does their part and respects others by adhering to smart safety tips, and by being aware of their surroundings, accidents will be minimized significantly.