Parking and the Holiday Driver

During the weeks leading up to the holiday season, parking spots are at a premium, leading to frayed tempers and harsh words in many cases. Unfortunately, lack of parking and heavy store traffic can also mean more fender benders and pedestrian accidents in the parking lot of your favorite shops. At this time of year, you need to exercise more caution when parking and pulling out of parking spaces. Here’s how:

1) Check out the parking lot as you walk to your car. Look for obvious possible dangers, such as parents with small children on the loose and nearby cars. This will help you anticipate things you need to watch for as you back out. You might also want to park further away from the store rather than getting the nearest parking spot. There is far less traffic in remote areas of parking lots, making it easier to back out of your spot.

2) Check your blind spots. When pulling out of a parking spot, always check all your mirrors and blind spots. Keep in mind that many parents are out and about with children, who can dash behind your car very suddenly. Use extra caution, especially if a parking lot is busy.

3) Drive slowly. Driving slowly and being alert can help prevent an accident. Driving slowly when backing out of parking spaces and driving out of parking lots is especially important when the weather is bad or when the day is dark. Slowing down gives you time to react appropriately to prevent an accident.

4) Consider using a device that offers car rear-view functioning. Some GPS devices offer car rear-view functions which allow you to see everything behind your car, thanks to a tiny camera. These devices are extremely handy in helping you spot small objects – including carts and small children – that might be in your blind spots.

5) Be responsible as a pedestrian. If you are walking to and from your car to get into a store, remember to stay in pedestrian-designated areas and make sure that cars see you. Make eye contact with drivers and avoid dashing out in front of cars without looking.

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