The holiday shopping season begins with a bang on Black Friday weekend. While media reports are often filled with accounts of in-store violence, statistically, you’re more likely to be injured in the parking lot. In fact, Progressive Insurance recently revealed their parking-related claims saw 36.5% increase on Black Friday.
Whether you’re driving or walking, there are important steps you can take to keep yourself and your family safe.
Drive Safely in the Parking Lot
- Watch your back. When backing out of a parking spot, be aware of pedestrians, waiting cars, others who are backing out at the same time and motorists who speed through lanes.
- See clearly. Avoid parking next to vans and large trucks that block your space from general vision of others. If you can’t see well enough to back out safely, get help from one of your passengers.
- Eliminate distractions. Turn off your cell phone to avoid temptation. Be sure to set up navigation and GPS devices before you take the car out of park.
- Watch for pedestrians. Remain cautious of pedestrians on crosswalks and moving in-between and behind cars. Be especially alert to children who are not always paying attention.
- Learn to play the outfield. Outlying areas have more spaces, lighter traffic and a lower risk of collision.
- Buckle up. Even a low-speed collision can result in serious injuries. Make sure everyone is strapped in a seat belt or child car seat before you put the car in gear—even if it’s just a short trip to another part of the parking lot.
Be a Safe Pedestrian
- Keep alert at all times. Put away your smartphone and take out those earbuds. We know distracted driving kills, but “distracted walking” is also dangerous proposition.
- Don’t dillydally. Snap a pic of your parking spot with your cell phone or write down exactly where you parked your car to avoid wandering aimlessly through the parking lot.
- Be predictable. Use crosswalks whenever possible. Never assume a driver sees you (he or she could be distracted, under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or just not seeing you). Try to make eye contact with drivers as they approach you to make sure you are seen.