Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Keep an eye out: Parking lot safety is important

By Lisa Knoll
Southwest Kansas 
Public Affairs Manager

Think your holiday purchases are the only things that need extra protection during the holiday season?  Think again.  According to the National Safety Council, over 50,000 collisions occur in parking lots each year, resulting in 500 or more deaths and over 60,000 injuries.

Searching for a parking spot in a busy parking lot, which could be covered in ice or snow during the holidays is difficult.  Add to that the fact that 66% of drivers say they are texting, talking on the phone and checking their car’s GPS all while driving through busy parking lots.  Then add the distracted pedestrian who is texting, talking, taking selfies, posting, and it’s easy to understand how dangerous parking lots have become.

“Don’t let a parking lot incident spoil your holiday season”, said KDOT’s Traffic Safety Manager, Chris Bortz.  “It’s important that drivers not be lulled into complacency in a parking lot.  Even though speeds are reduced, there are still multiple hazards in a parking lot and it’s important for drivers and pedestrians to remain vigilant at all times.”

As you head out this holiday season, and any other season, keep in mind these safety tips from the National Safety Council:

  • Stay in lanes and avoid cutting across parking spaces
  • Drive slowly and use directional signals
  • Anticipate the actions of other drivers and pedestrians
  • Obey stop signs and no-parking signs
  • When backing out, be mindful of vehicles and pedestrians
  • Watch for small children and parents with baby strollers
  • It's best to conduct a quick, 360-degree walk-around your vehicle before backing, keeping an eye out for low-lying objects
  • Don't rely completely on technology; look over your shoulder and use your mirrors as you back up
  • When parking, pull through on arrival whenever possible, so that you can drive forward out of the parking space instead of reversing out of the parking space
  • Respect handicap parking spots

Wishing you a safe and happy holiday shopping season.

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