Tis The Season For Parking Lot Accidents
State Farm Offers Tips For Driving and Parking this Holiday Shopping Season
Bloomington, Ill. (November 8, 2012) Youve just turned off a traffic-congested street and into the relative calm of a parking lot. Time to relax, right? Not really. During the holidays, parking lots at malls and supermarkets are packed, increasing the possibility of a fender bender. About 20 percent of all vehicle accidents happen in parking lots, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Though these low-speed collisions are rarely serious, they can be costly, time consuming, and aggravating.
State Farm® wants to remind you that if you hit, scrape or otherwise damage a parked caror if youre the victim of such an accidentdont panic. Here are some steps you can take:
Buy Time to React
Parking lots are filled with obstacles and hazards, but often the biggest danger is other drivers. The best way to deal with these drivers is simple: Slow down. This buys you time to react and avoid a collision.
Parking lots are full of people coming from and going to their cars. Though pedestrians may not be looking out for you, its still your responsibility to look out for them.
Door dings and scratches are aggravating and hard to avoid. One way to reduce the risk of door damage is to park away from other vehicles.
If Yourre the Driver
Dont drive away if another customer or a surveillance camera spots you, you could be punished for a hit-and-run.
Track down the other cars owner
Head into the store and speak to someone at the customer service desk. Describe the car to the employee, and have him or her announce it over the stores loudspeaker.
Leave a note
If youre unable to find the other driver, jot down basic informationyour name, phone number and a brief explanation of the accident and place it in a secure spot on the car. Write down the license plate number and take a photo of the damage if you have a camera with you.
Call the police
Depending on how extensive the damage is, you may want to involve the police. Theyll document the accident and they can help you find the other cars owner.
If Youre the Victim
Contact your State Farm agent
Let him or her know what happened as soon as possible. Your agent will help you determine the next steps.
Take notes and record evidence
If the other driver is still around, jot down his or her name, address, phone number, drivers license number and insurance company. Take pictures of the damage with your phone or a camera, if you have one on hand.
Remember that accidents will happen but its never too early to study up on safety, whether youre planning a trip or holiday shopping. Driving slowly and being aware of your surroundings while in a parking lot are two of the biggest steps to keeping your holiday shopping experience safe and enjoyable.
About State Farm®
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest provider of car insurance in the U.S. and is a leading insurer in Canada. In addition to providing auto insurance quotes, their 17,800 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve 81 million policies and accounts more than 79 million auto, home, life and health policies in the United States and Canada, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 43 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit http://www.statefarm.com or in Canada http://www.statefarm.ca.