Holiday Shopping Gone Wrong: The Dangers of Parking Lot Collisions

As the rush to check everyone off of your holiday shopping list begins, AAA warns motorists and shoppers alike to be mindful in busy parking lots this season.


Particularly during the holiday season, mall parking lots present unique challenges with heavy pedestrian traffic and increased congestion, not to mention the added layer of drivers distracted by their shopping lists or frustrated by their attempts to find an empty spot in a packed lot.


Though exact numbers are uncertain because parking lots are private property, an estimated 50,000 collisions occur each year in parking lots, resulting in 60,000 injuries and 500 deaths.


To avoid collisions this holiday season, AAA recommends that shoppers:

  • Adhere to the rules of the road, even in parking lots.
  • Always use your turn signal to indicate where you plan to go for pedestrians and other motorists.
  • Park further away and walk to avoid the congestion of the closer spots.
  • Never drive diagonally through a parking lot or through empty spaces – only go in the direction the lot indicates.
  • Never drive distracted, especially in busy parking lots. There will be heavy foot traffic and other cars around you in a hurry to get where they are going.
  • If possible, back into your parking spot. This makes pulling out much easier as you do not have to reverse into a congested area.
  • Be extra mindful of stop signs and crosswalks as there are many pedestrians around.
  • Exercise patience and understanding. After all, it is the holiday season.