Safely Navigating the Parking Lot this Holiday Season

Did you know that according to AAA 14% of accidents happen in parking lots? Fortunately parking lot accidents don’t usually result in as many fatalities or injuries as but they are still a hassle and add to the stress that many of us experience this holiday season.

Here are a few tips to help you avoid a parking lot accident.

Avoid the most crowded areas of the parking lot.
There are a couple of ways to do this.
1. Park in the parking spaces that are farthest away from the entrance. Most people want to park as close to the entrance as possible (even though they are going to get inside the mall or store and walk around for the next few hours) so park in the outlying areas where it’s so much less crowded. Additionally you’ll benefit from the additional exercise to walk off the extra calories that we tend to ingest this time of year.
2. Seek out alternate entrances to the mall where you’re going to be shopping. Most people tend to park next to the main entrances but there are less busy entrances where you’ll find easier and less busy parking.

Keep your headlights on, even during the day
Studies have shown that cars with headlights on are more easily seen, even during daylight hours, so leave your lights on the whole time.

Be smart about where you park
If you’ve got a small VW bug, it’s probably not a good idea to park between two big SUVs because people and other drivers aren’t going to be able to see you pull out.

Take your time
When we are rushed we tend to cut corners and not pay attention like we should. Be aware that there may be small children running around, other vehicles backing out, elderly people, etc… Slow down and take the time to check and double check before you pull into or back out of a parking spot or drive around the parking lot (trying to “quickly” grab an open parking spot isn’t worth the time you think you’re going to save if you hit a pedestrian or another vehicle).

Other safety tips:

  • Keep your vehicle locked at all times
  • Keep all packages out of sight (in the trunk rather than in the back seat where potential thieves can see them and be tempted)
  • Have your keys ready before you get to your car to reduce the amount of time it takes to get into your car.
  • Pull out and drive away as soon as you get in the car. Most people take way to long to pull out after getting in their vehicle, giving carjackers a  chance to move in.
  • Be smart about where you park. Anticipate that when you come back to your vehicle the parking lot is going to be a lot less crowded and potentially dark. Park in well lighted areas that are easily visible from the entrance to the store and other people.

The holiday season can be stressful. Don’t add to the stress with an accident, a mugging or a carjacking.

 

 

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