Insurance companies report an increase in parking lot crashes during the holiday season

Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 8:58 AM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - As we get closer to Christmas, more and more people are out trying to find the perfect gift. With more shoppers hitting the store parking lots, crashes become more of a concern.

According to AAA, the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas is the time of year with the highest number of insurance claims related to crashes. Here are a few tips on avoiding being one of those crashes.

  • First, be aware of the hazards around you in a parking lot, including pedestrians and moving vehicles.
  • Drive slowly and obey all traffic and directional signs.
  • Avoid shortcuts such as cutting across parking lanes and rows of parking spots.

“Don’t text and drive, try not to even call or start your GPS up unless you’re in the parking space,” said Springfield Police Corporal Anna King. “Some other things would be when you’re backing out of the parking stalls, make sure you look around, use those backup cameras, make sure you’re looking for kids that are running loose, and then moms and parents with babies and strollers.”

Another common insurance claim during the holiday season is drivers being locked out of their vehicles. Getting locked out of your car could really slow down a day of shopping for those perfect Christmas gifts. Here are a few tips to help keep you from being locked out.

  • Never leave car keys or key fob inside the vehicle’s passenger compartment even when helping a passenger or child into the vehicle.
  • Stay focused. Don’t become distracted while getting in or out of your vehicle in the parking lot.
  • Exit your vehicle with your car keys or key fob in hand and use the key fob security system to lock doors.

“Never leave your keys in your vehicle, to begin with,” said Nick Chabarria with AAA insurance. “If you’re in the habit of always putting them in your pocket or in your purse, you know that it will become second nature. That way, when you are distracted, you’re less likely to leave them in your vehicle.”

As you’re out shopping this Christmas season, be extra cautious. It’s better to take a few extra minutes so everyone can stay safe.

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