As our Raleigh car accident attorneys noted in an earlier posting to our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers blog, shopping mall parking lots are a common location for a motor vehicle accident involving a pedestrian.
According to the North Carolina Department of Transportation, one out of every 10 pedestrians involved in a North Carolina car accident is killed. In 2008, 169 pedestrians were killed in motor vehicle accidents statewide.
Few times of the year are more dangerous for pedestrians than the holiday season when drivers and shoppers are often more focused on hot-ticket sales, party planning or their houseful of visitors than the road. Of course, the time change that comes with Daylight Savings plays some role in wintertime pedestrian-involved accidents, but nearly 15 percent of pedestrian fatalities occur when the victim steps from behind a parked car and another 28.4 percent of deaths happen in pedestrian crosswalks.
Regardless of the holi-daze of fellow drivers and shoppers, business and shop owners and mall management each have an obligation to maintain a safe environment that extends beyond store walls. This includes parking lot security and road maintenance.
The National Retail Foundation reminds everyone a good plan will do much to make holiday shopping more a pleasure than a pain. Some simple tips they suggest include:
~ Just like Santa – make a list! Before you hit the stores, know who you are buying gifts for and how much you’ve budgeted to spend on each person. Stay with the list!
~ Do your homework. Before shopping, go online and compare prices and read up on consumer reviews. Know each store’s return/exchange policy. Keep all your receipts in one place.
~ If you are sending gifts in the mail and want them to arrive before the holiday is over, head to the post office now.
~ Shop safely. If you’re going shopping at night, bring a buddy. Try to park in a well-lit area that is well populated. Remember where you park! If you are concerned with getting to your car after dark, ask a security officer to escort you to your vehicle.
~ Wear comfortable shoes, preferably with skid-resistant soles. Watch where you put your wallet and how you carry your purse. Stash credit cards, debit cards, ID and cash in a secure place. If you must leave packages or valuables in your car, put them in the trunk or other out-of-sight spot to help dissuade thieves.
Winston-Salem car accident lawyers with Lee & Smith know that being involved in a serious or fatal car accident, or losing a loved one to a fatal car crash, can be among the most trying times in your life. We hope that if you are involved in a serious car accident you will call us at 1-800-887-1965 or email our law offices to schedule a free consultation to discuss your rights.