While the holiday season can be a time of great joy and celebration, we also the run the risk of being overwhelmed and distracted because of all the commotion – especially when it comes to shopping.
Distracted driving during the holiday season can lead to serious injury, regardless if it’s a “minor” fender bender at a local shopping center. While common sense may try to tell us that a parking lot accident at a lower speed can’t do much damage, the truth is that an unexpected wreck can lead to whiplash, head trauma, or spinal injury.
This is especially relevant to pedestrians; with the average car weighing over 4,000 pounds, being hit by a moving vehicle can cause tremendous harm, or even death.
At J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys, we want to remind all of our local McAllen metro, and Greater Rio Grande Valley residents, to remain vigilant while behind the wheel, and even while walking around local malls or shopping centers.
Let’s make sure to keep the holidays safe for everyone by remembering our responsibilities behind the wheel.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE REASONS PARKING LOT ACCIDENTS HAPPEN DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON?
Parking lot accidents can happen for a number of reasons, so it’s important to recognize this behavior in your own actions, or in the drivers around you as you walk to and from your car.
- Drivers can be distracted and overwhelmed by all the action taking place at a shopping center.
- There are more pedestrians and drivers in the parking lot during the holiday season which means higher risks for an accident.
- Drivers can become impatient because of all their holiday responsibilities including shopping, attending family gatherings, work gatherings, etc.
- Gifts piled up in the back of a car, or a Christmas tree placed on top of a vehicle can mean an obstructed view for the driver.
- Fatigued driving can occur because of all the traveling that takes place during the holiday season.
- Decorations and lights in a parking lot may obstruct parking lot areas.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE WAYS TO PREVENT PARKING LOT COLLISIONS?
Just because parking lot accidents happen more frequently during the holiday season doesn’t mean that you can’t correct certain driving behaviors to prevent these types of crashes. Consider the following tips:
- Consider shopping during off hours. Understandably, you might be busy with a variety of things to do during the holiday season, including work, which means you might only have the weekends to get things out of the way. However, if at all possible, shop during off hours such as weekday evenings. The weekends are notoriously busy, but if need be, go in the early morning before the noon-time rush. Plus, you might be flustered trying to shop on the busiest days of the week, which can lead to bad driving behavior.
- Slow down when driving in a parking lot. This may be common sense, but it’s a vital tip to remember. Slow down in the parking lot, especially around pedestrians. Driving too fast greatly increases your chances of causing an accident and you can severely injure a pedestrian that may inadvertently walk out from behind a car. You are not the only one that needs to get things done, so be courteous while driving and consider others on the road.
- Don’t obstruct your own view. Keep you visibility high by avoiding over packing your car. Piling up your gifts so that you can’t see out your back windows can lead to accidents; you won’t be able to see pedestrians crossing behind you. If you have purchased a large item, consider using a delivery service to get it to your house. You might also want to consider purchasing yourself a gift and getting a rearview camera so you can always see clearly behind you.
- Back into parking spaces so the front of your vehicle points out into the lanes. AAA recommends reversing into parking spaces so that you have much better visibility when driving out of a parking space. This will definitely help you see pedestrians easier, just be cautious when maneuvering into the parking space.
- Eliminate any distractions that may tempt you to take your eyes of the road. You’ll need to leave your distractions at home, or at the very least, turn them off while driving. Glancing at a cell phone or mobile device for only a few seconds can spell tragedy for a pedestrian. As a pedestrian, keep an eye out for drivers that appear to be on their phones and be aware of your surroundings. It’s important while driving or walking in a busy parking lot to think defensively.
GONZALEZ LAW FIRM IS HERE FOR YOU DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON.
If you’ve been injured in a parking lot accident because of somebody else’s negligence, let J. Gonzalez Injury Attorneys offer you a free case evaluation. Our personal injury lawyers serve the entire McAllen metro area and will help you to get the justice you deserve. Contact us at (956) 630-6700.