While more and more people are shopping online this holiday season, many folks still prefer to buy gifts the old-fashioned way by going to their local shopping center. However, the National Safety Council (NSC) warns that parking lots can be a dangerous place this time of the year.

The NSC says hundreds of people are killed and thousands more injured in parking garages and lots, and around the holidays, those structures become even more dangerous. Auto insurers say more claims are filed on Black Friday than any other day.

Beware of distractions

The NSC polled American drivers nationwide on the types of activities they routinely do while driving in parking lots or garages. The results are alarming:

  • 63% program their GPS devices
  • 56% text
  • 52% use social media
  • 50% read or send emails
  • 49% watch videos or take photos

Pedestrians are most at risk

The NSC analyzed federal data and found that 9% of all pedestrians’ deaths in parking lots are caused by drivers backing up their vehicle. While many newer cars are equipped with backup cameras showing a wide view behind them, many times, the cameras are obstructed by dirt or other materials. The NSC offers three safety reminders:

  • Conduct a brief 360-degree walk-around before you move your car and watch for low-lying objects
  • If it’s possible when parking your car, pull through on arrival, so your vehicle is ready to go forward into the flow of traffic
  • Don’t rely only on technology and remember to look over your shoulder and use your mirrors

Keep the holidays a joyous time of the year

Taking a few extra safety steps can keep you from being injured or hurting someone else. More than 6,000 pedestrians were killed in the U.S. in 2018, the most since 1990, while thousands more suffered devastating and costly injuries. If you are hurt through someone else’s negligence, an experienced and aggressive personal injury attorney here in Kentucky will diligently work to get the compensation you deserve.