Avoid Parking Lot Problems This Shopping Season

Avoid Parking Lot Problems This Shopping Season

Parking Lot
Shopping Center and Mall Parking Lots Are About to Get Busy
Kip Doyle

As the holiday season approaches, malls and shopping centers are bound to be busy.

And with additional store traffic comes additional parking lot traffic, something you may not have experienced much this year due to the coronavirus epidemic.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), tens of thousands of crashes happen in parking lots and garage structures each year. Insurance claims spike on Black Friday and run above normal throughout the holidays.

A buzzing parking lot along with a mile-long to-do list can make parking lot driving stressful and even dangerous this time of year. Prepare yourself for the holiday parking lot frenzy with these driving tips.


Find Your Spot

Maintain focus on driving safety and follow parking lot traffic signs while finding your parking space. Avoid sudden stops and look out for pedestrians and other vehicles at all times.

Parking areas close to the store are often congested, so park farther away if you’re able to. Just make sure you are in a safe, well-lit area.

Although parking lot traffic is slower than traffic on public roads, it’s still no place for distractions like cell phones. Wait until you are parked to use your device.



When you find a parking spot and determine that all is clear, use your turn signal to let other drivers know your intentions to park. Watch the parking spots next to you for any suddenly opening doors.

Back into the parking spot whenever possible. Backing into a spot will allow you to pull straight out when you leave. This will prevent you from backing out of the spot later, potentially without a good field of view. This kills about 50 pedestrians each year, according to the NSC.


Parking Lot Hazards

Let’s face it; some parking spots could really use some work. Parking lots can be havens for potholes, cracks, debris and other things you don’t want to drive over. Parking lots can also have poor lighting, and they aren’t always cleared of snow and ice.

Lock your car while it’s parked and keep any valuable items hidden out of view from outsiders.


Helpful Technology

Backup cameras assist drivers by providing a wide view behind the car when it’s operating in reverse. If you have a backup camera, inspect it before driving to make sure it’s unobstructed. The backup camera is there to help you, but you should check your mirrors and look over your shoulder as you back up as well.


What If I Get into A Parking Lot Accident? 
If you are involved in a parking lot accident, exchange insurance information with the driver of the other vehicle. Contact the police to file a report as soon as it's safe to do so, and contact your insurance agent to have your claim handled.


Insurance agents at AAA have dealt with all varieties of parking lot incidents, including parking lot mishaps. Get a quote today. 

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Submitted by Joe A. (not verified) on Sun, 09/13/2020 - 13:13


Avoiding Parking Lot Problems encompasses more than just "parking" issues. The article has some very good suggestions but it needed to add safety concerns - especially during the holiday season. Shoppers at Malls and other shopping centers need to be aware not only of where or how they park but who is in the area of where they parked. Too often thugs are waiting to attack unsuspecting shoppers who have their hands full of packages. Always scan the area where you are walking and where you are parked. If possible don't go alone and have your keys in hand. Put all packages in the trunk and lock your doors. Always look through your car windows to make sure no one is hiding in the back seat - in your unlocked car.

Submitted by Jack (not verified) on Tue, 10/13/2020 - 10:32


Watch for someone driving through an empty double parking space. I was entering an empty parking space on my right when a car pulled into the other side of the space and decided to drive all the way through the spot so that they would be able to drive out of the space. Had I not been paying attention we would have collided as you are not supposed to drive through a double space. Cars pulling in from the other side cannot see you until it's too late. There is plenty of reckless driving in parking lots. And as Joe A. stated be aware of your surroundings when you park. There are more problems in parking garages and lots then you'll every hear about.

Submitted by Debbie (not verified) on Tue, 10/13/2020 - 11:34


I always find a pull-thru space, if possible, so I don't have to back into a space or back out. I am amazed at the number of people who pull into a space and could pull thru to the opposite space but don't so have to back out when leaving.

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