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While many consumers do a large part of their holiday shopping online, but sometimes there is no substitute for seeing an item in person before deciding to buy. There are also deals to be had that are only available in stores. If you will be heading to the local mall or shopping center this holiday season, here are some tips for parking lot safety to ensure your shopping trip has a happy ending.
It sounds obvious, but bears repeating: do not leave valuables visible in your car. This means phones, tablets, and game consoles, and also their charging cables as the presence of cables is a sign to thieves that electronic goodies are nearby. Included in valuables are the fruits of your shopping trip that you did not want to carry while you continue shopping. Stow away bags and packages and consider moving the location of your car if you came out laden with shopping bags and are returning for another round, or to get a bite to eat. Some thieves watch the parking lot and they will know you will not return immediately to your car.
Most mall-related crime takes place in parking lots so choose your parking spot well. It may be tempting to stay away from the most crowded parts of the lots, but especially if you are alone, that is where you want to be. Foot traffic around your car makes it harder for thieves to target you for a break-in. Always make sure that you park in a busy, well-lit area, preferable away from large SUVs or vans that can provide cover for thieves.
Make a note of where you have parked so that you can return directly to your car without any unnecessary detours. Walk purposefully and quickly and once in your car, lock the doors, especially if you need to program your navigation system and are not departing immediately. Though there is no way to completely eliminate the potential for crime, premises liability law requires that property owners take reasonable steps to make their premises safe. If they fail in this duty, victims may be able to recover compensation by filing an unsafe property claim.
The slow tempos in the parking lot lead some drivers into thinking they can carry on a conversation on their phone while they look for a parking spot. In fact, with all the other cars looking for parking and pedestrian traffic to and from cars, it is a very dangerous place to be a distracted driver. Children are especially difficult to spot if they dart away from their parents. Do not be a distracted pedestrian either. When you have parked and are heading into the stores, do not text and walk, or check your email. Continue to remain alert and pay attention to traffic in the parking lot to avoid becoming the victim of a pedestrian accident.
Many car accidents happen in parking lots and many are preventable by being extra vigilant when entering or leaving a space. Double check your mirrors and/or back-up camera for pedestrians and other cars backing out, as well as cars that may pass by after you have checked your mirrors the first time.
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident, consult with a knowledgeable Bear car accident lawyer from Rhoades & Morrow about your legal options for compensation. Call 302-834-8484 to schedule a free review of your case or contact us online. From our Bear, Wilmington and Milford offices, we assist injured accident victims throughout Delaware.