Black Friday is a crazy day to be out and about, roads and parking lots are packed with impatient and short tempered drivers.
According to Progressive Insurance there are 34% more car accidents on Black Friday, 25% more accidents on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and 20% more accidents on Thanksgiving Day compared to the two weeks before and after. . On Black Friday, 31% of insurance claims tell of incidents happening in parking lots
Here are a few tips to stay safe on the road and in parking lots on Black Friday
Start at home, make a list of the places you want to go to, organize the drive to be efficient. For some it’s in term of time or mileage but for most it’s going to be decided based on advertised deals (wink). Use apps to check traffic
Make sure you are rested and sober, don’t drink and drive there is going to be a lot of sobriety checks over the holidays
Traffic is going to be heavy, drive defensively, avoid distractions like eating, drinking coffee, cell phones
Keep your distance while driving, stay calm, there is going to be a lot of crazy driving, people rushing, not paying attention (According to USA Today , approximately 80 percent of all U.S car accidents accidents are related to distracted drivers) and yes driving while under the influence
It’s not until you get to the parking lot though that the Wild West really begins. Parking can be one of the biggest hassles on the biggest shopping day of the year. Drivers are fighting over spots, parkings are jam-packed aisles are narrow, Black Friday parking is an accident waiting to happen.
Drive slowly, stay in the middle of the aisles, you will be able to anticipate other drivers’ moves sooner. remember that 25 percent of parking lot accidents in the U.S. are caused while someone is backing out of a parking spot
Be aware of children, they are excited and while parents are busy loading packages in the car or exiting the car, children can run around and pop from between parked cars, watch out for them when driving in or out of a parking spot
Don’t try to get the closest parking spot, the longer you drive around searching for a close parking spot the more likely you are to get into an accident or have to deal with short tempered drivers. When you park further away, there is less competition for parking spot, you’ll get out of the parking lot faster and as an added bonus you can give your Fitbit or smart watch a workout and get those steps in, especially welcome after the big Thanksgiving meal.
Be considerate, a lot of people drive big SUVs and when parking next to one or worse between two, it is very hard for drivers backing out to see incoming vehicles. Give them some slack and let them back out.
At night, park in well lit areas, park in view of police lookout and security cameras in light poles
Always be aware of your surroundings
Do not leave anything in plain view in your car
From all of us at Stroyer Brothers, have a fun and safe Thanksgiving weekend