Parking lots at busy shopping centers can be intimidating during the holidays, no matter how experienced a driver you are. Holiday shoppers are rushing from store to store, hurrying to get their holiday shopping done. In the midst of this shopping chaos, it’s easy to just go through the driving motions as you’re navigating your way through the parking lot. In fact, 20% of car accidents occur in parking lots.

There are many causes of parking lot accidents, especially during the holidays. Parking lots have low-visibility and are full of distracted drivers. Driving with caution in and out of parking spaces and parking lots in general is essential for avoiding a parking lot accident. The car accident lawyers at Hadfield Stieben & Doutt in Fort Collins want to remind you to take caution this holiday season. Be aware of the main causes of parking lot accidents, and take into consideration these helpful tips to avoid being involved in an accident.

Main Causes of Parking Lot Accidents:

  • Distracted driving
  • Being too focused on finding a spot and not paying attention to your surroundings
  • Listening to the radio
  • Glares from the sun or a poorly-lit lot
  • Multiple vehicles attempting to park in the same spot
  • Reversing out of a spot at the same time as another vehicle
  • Reversing out of a space into an oncoming vehicle
  • Stop-sign rear-end accident

How to Avoid a Parking Lot Accident

Park at a Distance if Possible

This may go without saying, but parking further away from the majority of cars in a parking lot, especially during the holidays, is your best bet for avoiding a parking lot accident. No cars, no opportunity to hit or get hit while driving. It may require a longer walk to the shopping center, but if it saves you the cost of repairing your vehicle, isn’t it worth it? Save those extra dollars for your holiday gifts. Don’t risk the potential accident by attempting to park close to the entrance. Add a few extra steps to your daily step count by parking further away and saving damage to your car.

Use Your Side Mirrors

This should be a no-brainer, but so many of us start backing-out of our parking spaces without thinking about other cars that may be driving by. You should always start by checking your rearview and side mirrors for vehicles that may be approaching or are already behind you when you begin backing out of a parking space. The mirrors are there for a reason, and the car accident lawyers at Hadfield Stieben & Doutt want you to use them.

Drive With Caution

Again, this should go without saying, but we know that things get crazy sometimes. Especially in the parking lot at your favorite shopping center during the holidays. It’s important to be extra cautious and aware of your surroundings as your search for a space. Rather than driving offensively, you should be aware of all the other drivers. You may be the only one that does, therefore successfully avoiding an accident. We know, however, that not every accident can be avoided. If you do find yourself having been hit by an aggressive driver blazing through the parking lot, give our car accident lawyers a call and we’ll schedule a consultation.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

If you’ve recently purchased a new vehicle, chances are that it has come equipped with a backup camera or even collision avoidance technology. We encourage you to use these to your advantage — not only for navigating busy parking lots but on a regular basis. These sensors were created to reduce the risk of accidents, and can be extremely helpful during this busy holiday season.

Use Pull-Through Spots

Anytime you have the opportunity to pull-through a parking spot, you should do it! This makes getting out of your spot even easier, because you can see the parking lot row more easily if you’re facing it than if it’s behind you. Of course, if you do have the opportunity to pull-through, do so with caution, because another car may be entering the spot from the opposite side.

Avoid the Parking Lot Altogether

Probably the best way to avoid a parking lot accident at your favorite shopping center this holiday season is by staying home. That’s right! With the growing popularity of online shopping, it may be best to avoid the chaos of dealing with holiday shopping and do all of your gift-buying in the comfort of your home. This saves you time, probably money, and you can avoid the risk of a parking lot car accident altogether.

As you’re finishing up your holiday shopping this season, whether you’re hitting the stores last minute or shopping the after Christmas deals, remember to drive cautiously. If you do find yourself involved in any sort of car accident, the car accident lawyers at Hadfield Stieben & Doutt are ready to protect your rights as a driver in Fort Collins. Contact our office with any questions or to schedule a consultation.