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How to avoid parking lot accidents

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, many people are spending more time at retailers, shopping for the perfect gift for everyone on their shopping list. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), auto insurance companies always see a spike in claims that starts around Black Friday and continues through the holiday season.

People engage in distracted driving in parking lots

More shoppers mean more potential for accidents. The NSC also finds people engage in a lot of distracted driving behaviors while navigating a parking lot. Sixty-six percent of drivers make phone calls and 63 percent program their GPS. Nearly half of drivers watch videos or take photos. All these activities take people’s eyes away from driving and could lead to accidents.

Other behaviors can increase your safety

Not engaging in these types of behaviors is one way to avoid parking lot accidents. However, you may still encounter other drivers who are not paying enough attention. Here are some other tips to avoid fender benders in a parking lot:

  • Do not rely solely on backup cameras. Use your mirrors and look over your shoulder before you back out of a parking space. Cameras may fail to catch all angles.
  • Follow traffic lanes, and do not cut across rows.
  • Drive slowly as you likely may encounter pedestrians and other cars.
  • Keep a watchful eye out for small children that may move quickly and not pay attention to your vehicle.
  • Do not park in no parking zones. These could be loading zones, and parking there could block commercial vehicles. You may also block the flow of pedestrian traffic.
  • Try to anticipate how other drivers will react.

During the holidays, parking lots are busier with people out shopping for holiday gifts. You can avoid vehicle accidents by focusing on driving, following traffic rules, driving slowly, being extra cautious when backing out and being a defensive driver.

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