For a lot of folks, gearing up for Thanksgiving also means gearing up for Black Friday shopping — and Small Business Saturday.
Like many people in the United States, you may be doing a lot of your shopping online, but those in-store sales during the entire Black Friday weekend can be compelling. If you do go out, make sure that you practice a little parking lot safety.
Tips for coping in a crowded parking lot
First: Accept that the parking lot will be just as bad (or worse) than the stores. Drivers will be haunting the steps of every person they see leaving the store in hopes of finding a space. During the post-Thanksgiving sales, parking lots may be more dangerous than highways.
Second, take the following steps to protect yourself and others from harm:
- Go slowly (oh, so slowly): No matter how much of a hurry you might be in, you can’t rush your parking lot maneuvers right now. Take a deep breath and prepare to wait until cars and pedestrians pass.
- Be comfortable in a subprime parking spot: It’s better to walk a little than have to fight for a closer parking spot. Unless you need parking that’s close to the door for some reason, consider parking as far back in the lot as possible.
- Use your mirrors and turn signals: You want to make full use of your side mirrors, rearview mirrors and turn signals. Watch for pedestrians hurrying by when you’re backing out of a spot, and watch for other vehicles when you’re pulling in or even turning down a lane.
Finally, be both a defensive driver and a defensive walker: Assume that every driver you see feels somewhat stressed and rushed, and don’t take any chances.
Despite your best efforts, you may still end up in a parking lot wreck — and they can be more serious than they sound. Learning more about your legal options after a car accident injury can help you decide what to do next.