Parking Lot Safety During the Holiday Season November 16, 2017
As holiday shoppers eagerly head to the malls and shopping centers in search of the perfect gift, many are unaware of the dangers they may face. The parking lots of many retail establishments are high-risk areas for injury, crime, and even fatality. During the prime holiday shopping season that extends from late November into early January, traffic increases significantly as crowds are enticed by sales and holiday promotions. With careful planning and attention to safety, many accidents and injuries can be prevented.
Choose Your Parking Spot Carefully
In a recent issue of Consumer Reports magazine, holiday shoppers were given advice on avoiding unnecessary dangers. First, pay close attention to where you park your vehicle. While many will scout out the closest parking spot to the door, this is not always the safest place to park. Foot and car traffic are heaviest in this area, making you more prone to collide with another vehicle, either as a pedestrian or a driver. Second, while you should avoid parking in remote areas, choose a parking spot that is well lit and allows ample space to maneuver your car. Parking in a well-lit area also deters criminals’ intent on stealing the valuables locked inside your car.
If you plan to store packages or electronics in the trunk of your car, be sure to do so before you arrive at your location. Thieves will often wait and watch for people emptying the back seat of their cars to put packages and other valuables in the trunk. A seasoned bandit will watch you walk away, knowing that you will be gone for just the right amount of time for them to pop your trunk and unload your goods.
Pay Close Attention to Your Surroundings
Parking lots are a hub of distraction. Cars are pulling in and out of parking spots, people are exiting their vehicles or walking to their cars with arms that can be filled with packages, and small children can quickly dart off from the safety of their parents. Drivers and pedestrians need to be keenly aware of their surroundings.
Cell phones and other electronic distractions can be as dangerous for pedestrians as they are for drivers. Walkers that talk on their cell phones, search the web, or text are prone to falls and being struck by moving vehicles. Drivers in parking lots are often distracted by their search for a parking spot or by pressure to get to their destination quickly. Careful attention must be given when moving from place to place.
Because vision can be impeded by other vehicles and obstacles in parking lots, be sure to use your rear view and side mirrors as well as any on board back up systems to help you navigate. Small children, pedestrians, and moving vehicles can be obstructed from view. Always use caution before you move and while you are in the act of transfer.
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If you or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident, the experienced team of Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP can help you claim the compensation you may be entitled to receive. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792), or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading offices serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.