Accidents in Parking Lots Increase over the Holidays

If you are shopping in or around Charlottesville, Albemarle County, or anywhere in Virginia this holiday season, it is important that you pay extra close attention around parking lots. Albemarle County Police are “warning drivers about the dangers while shopping this holiday season.” Typically, a spike in minor parking lot accidents occurs right around this time of year. Unfortunately, some of these Virginia parking lot accidents are more severe and can result in serious injury or even death.

Last week, a woman was killed as her car collided with another in the Lehigh Mall parking lot in New Jersey. A few days ago, a woman was seriously injured and hospitalized after a Walmart parking lot crash where she was t-boned while pulling out of a spot. Yesterday, a woman failed to look closely behind her as she pulled back out of a parking spot to realign and struck two pedestrians in the process. According to relatives, one of the victims has a “broken knee, dislocated shoulder and cracked ribs, and her left eye is swollen shut. The other victim has a dislocated shoulder, compound fracture in her left arm, a torn ligament and a fractured bone in her lower leg.”

None of the above was a Virginia automobile accident; however, events like this occur all over the United States during the holidays. As a Virginia accident attorney, I urge you to pay close attention as you drive through parking lots this holiday season. If you are involved or injured in a Virginia car crash in a parking lot this season, make sure to exchange information with the other driver and call the police. While the police will most likely not issue a citation because parking lots are private property, they will prepare a police report. A police report will be important in demonstrating the negligence of the other driver.

AAA Mid-Atlantic provides tips for safe parking lot driving during the holiday shopping season:

  • Park near less congested “side entrances” to malls or retail stores.
  • Park further away from the door. Walking is good for you, and backing out will be less dangerous.
  • Use your headlights, even during the day.
  • Avoid parking in tight spots or between two SUVs or minivans which could block your view of other cars and pedestrians.
  • Avoid backing out of a spot. Pull through a spot whenever possible.
  • Buckle up! Even low speed collisions can result in injuries.
  • Don’t drive diagonally across a parking lot or race another driver to an open spot.
  • Watch out for runaway carts.

Patience is the key to avoiding a parking lot accident in Virginia this holiday season. Pay close attention as you drive through the parking lots of Virginia or you just may end up spending a lot more than you bargained for this holiday season.