With the holiday season upon us, many people are focused on shopping for gifts for loved ones. Some shoppers hit the malls on the weekends, and others stop in at different stores on their way home from work. Regardless of shopping strategy, parking lots at local retailers are full of shoppers who are focused on a long list of gifts to be bought. This often means that these shoppers are distracted from their duties as drivers.
It is a common misperception that only fender benders take place in parking lots. In actuality, very serious auto accidents can occur in parking lots, where the rules of liability are not always the same as they are on the roadway.
Follow these tips to avoid a parking lot accident this holiday season:
Note the Direction of the Parking Spots—some parking spots are at a 45-degree angle; others are at a 90-degree angle. If a parking spot is slanted at a 45-degree angle, this normally indicates the direction in which traffic should be flowing. Don’t catch yourself driving through a parking lot against the angled parking spots. This could mean that you are at fault for driving in the wrong direction.
Stick to Marked Lanes for Traffic—resist the temptation to cut across parking spots to whip into a vacant spot on another aisle. If you are cutting across parking spots and strike another car, you could be at fault.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled for Pedestrians—with heavier auto traffic comes heavier foot traffic. Not all parking lots have clear crosswalks to protect pedestrians who are walking from their cars to the stores. As a driver, be alert for cars, as well as pedestrians.