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Black Friday signals the start of the holiday shopping season as hundreds of thousands of Americans venture out to their local shopping centers to find the perfect gifts for friends and beloved family members.

However, parking lots and garages become even more dangerous during the holidays due to distracted drivers as well as pedestrians not paying attention. The National Safety Council (NSC) says hundreds die and thousands more are injured in parking lots during the holidays.

Drivers admit to many distractions

Most of the accidents are a result of distracted drivers, according to the NSC. In fact, the agency shared the results of a public opinion poll where drivers shared some alarming results:

  • 49% say they take photos or watch videos while driving in parking lots
  • 50% admit to reading and sending emails
  • 52% catch up with friends on social media while driving
  • 56% send or read text messages
  • 63% say they program their GPS device after leaving their parking space

Stay alert and focus on driving

NSC also found that teens are more likely than adults to attend to personal grooming while driving in parking lots. However, a higher percentage of older drivers talk on their cellphones. Police offer several safety tips to avoid potentially fatal encounters:

  • Stay in lanes and don’t cut across lots
  • Drive slowly and use your turn signals
  • Watch out for other drivers
  • Obey no-parking signs and stop signs
  • Don’t rely on technology when backing out of a spot, turn your head and use your mirrors
  • Watch for pedestrians and other vehicles
  • Be especially on the lookout for small children and parents with baby strollers

Keep the holiday season a joyous time of year

The excitement of the holiday season brings many distractions as people go to shopping centers with long to-do lists and are in a hurry to find the perfect gift. Combining that with parking lots crowded with cars and people leads to a heightened risk for serious injuries. If you are hurt by a distracted driver, an experienced personal injury attorney here in New York will aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve.

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