Whether behind the wheel or behind a shopping cart, officials are urging consumers to be careful in parking lots this holiday season.
According to a poll run by the National Safety Council, approximately 66% of drivers make phone calls while driving in parking lots and 56% text. Add the busiest shopping season of the year on top of that, and there’s a clear recipe for disaster.
More shopping at malls and other retail locations means more traffic congestion, which can lead to a lot of crashes in parking lots throughout the holiday season. Experts recommend several steps to help avoid these accidents, but the most important is attentiveness.
When carrying lots of packages or bags, it’s especially important to watch where you’re going. It’s just as much a responsibility of pedestrians as it is of drivers to stay alert in parking lots and on the road.
Traffic marking paint, an industry worth $214 million, can only help prevent accidents if pedestrians and drivers are paying attention to the markings they’ve laid down on the parking lots.
In addition, officials are warning about car break-ins during the holidays, especially if you’re out shopping. It’s recommended that you put your bags or packages in a trunk. That way, anyone who walks by your car won’t be able to see that it’s full of merchandise.
The leading cause of accidents in parking lots, however, is cell phone usage. Researchers have suggested that going at a slower speed often gives drivers a false sense of security, but accidents can just as easily happen at 10 MPH as they can at 60 MPH.
In addition, the layout of parking lots may create the illusion of less traffic, but the reality is that drivers need to be just as conscious as they would on the road. The key to staying safe this holiday season is staying alert and away from cell phones while you’re in the driver seat.