Just last week, we tackled a few traffic safety tips that will hopefully help you navigate through the holiday without accident or injury. A few of those tips either referred to parking lot safety directly or could be applied to it. But, given the increased parking lot traffic that occurs thanks to tons of Christmas shopping, we thought it would be important to focus on this particular area. If we can prevent just one serious accident from befalling a driver or passenger while in a parking lot, then we feel as if we’ve done our part.
Put Your Phone Away
Cell phones are great for keeping us connected and safe in certain situations, but unfortunately, they’re also fantastic at distracting drivers. Many people think that looking at their phones is no big deal while they’re in a parking lot. After all, they’re moving only a couple of miles per hour, so what’s the harm? Don’t risk it! Low-speed accidents happen all the time, so please only use your phone to send a message, make a call, program your GPS, etc. when you’ve safely pulled into your spot or before you depart from it.
Stop Fiddling with the Radio
We all love to hit the road with our favorite tunes blaring the moment we pull out of the parking lot, but this is yet another needless distraction. Tune the radio, select the station you want to stream, or put your iPod to shuffle before pulling away from your space. We want you to enjoy your favorite holiday tunes, but the act of tuning while driving is another risky distraction. The extent of any radio adjustments while driving should be limited to adjusting the volume to crank up the music when it’s safe to do so.
Yes, we all want to get that primo spot near the front of the store so that we’ll have a few extra minutes to shop for that last-minute gift before the store closes, but there’s no need to bolt through the parking lot trying to grab a spot from someone else. Doing so is simply not safe. Focus on the other vehicles and pedestrians immediately around you, and don’t worry about racing to that rock-star parking spot in the distance.
Watch For Pedestrians
This should go without saying, but we’re going to say it anyway – with Christmas shopping comes more people. Masses of humanity dart between parked cars on their way in and out of stores. Some of the adults might be hopped up on pumpkin spice lattes, while little kids are… well, being little kids and acting accordingly given the excitement of having a picture taken with Santa. These people will often take shortcuts between cars and seem to come out of nowhere. Keep a close eye on your surroundings and, for God’s sake…
This leads us to what is possibly our most important point. Most of us understand what it’s like to be in a hurry, and holiday shopping tends to be frantic and stressful at times, so we just want to get it done ASAP. This, of course, increases the possibility of having an accident while in a parking lot. Slowing down won’t add a lot of time to your trip and it could very well prevent a serious accident.
Unfortunately, many drivers don’t heed these tips and every holiday season pedestrians get injured in parking lot accidents. In the event of a car accident, whether in a parking lot or out on the street, you want to have a knowledgeable attorney on your side. Contact Mintz Law Firm for a free case evaluation if your holiday season has lost its cheer because of a distracted driver.