With the holiday shopping season launching this week on Black Friday, ICBC is warning drivers to take caution in mall parking lots.
According to the provincial insurance corporation, approximately 150,000 crashes occurred in parking lots last year, resulting in 5,400 injuries. ICBC says the majority of mall parking lot crashes occur in December on Fridays and Saturdays.
“Although some mistakenly believe that driving in parking lots is 'safer' due to lower travel speeds, drivers need to continue practicing their safe driving habits, even while travelling in parking lots,” says ICBC in a press release.
“Parking lots present drivers with unique challenges such as increased congestion and heavy pedestrian activity. The holiday season could add a layer of distraction with people more apt to be preoccupied with their shopping list or finding a parking spot.”
Richmond has certainly had its fair share of mall parking lot incidents, including last month at Yaohan Centre when, according to a widely circulated video, a white SUV hit another vehicle, mounted the curb, burst through some bushes and narrowly avoided a pedestrian.
ICBC offered some tips for staying safe in parking lots this holiday season including:
- Staying off your phone (it’s still illegal in a parking lot)
- Travel in appropriate lanes
- Back into a parking stall so your car is facing outwards
- Park further away to avoid high traffic areas
- Slow down
- Be alert
- Apply “a bit of holiday cheer, be courteous and have a bit more patience.”