Staying Safe in Malls, Crowds and through the Holidays

Personal Injuries and Shopping: Cars, Crowds and Safety Concerns

Getting jostled by crowds, searching for sales and driving to several stores looking for that “must-have” item are part and parcel of any seasonal change. We as a nation have grown to love the excitement and energy that comes with Christmas, Memorial Day, Back-to-School, and other big sale events of the year. Looking for that perfect outfit or gift can cause some people to act recklessly, however, and that’s when a day at the mall or window shopping down the avenues of New York City can become dangerous.

Thankfully, the shopping day with the most injuries, Black Friday, comes only once a year. There have been reports of many injuries, and even several deaths, attributed to the large crowds and frenzy-like excitement that overtakes people on Black Friday. Consumers have been known to fight for products, push down doors and quite literally run people over.

People get hurt every day throughout the year. During particularly busy shopping times, however, you may be at greater risk of experiencing some accident. Bustling crowds can cause people to fall or be pushed down. Jammed parking lots may give rise to more fender benders or pedestrian accidents than usual. Inclement weather may contribute to injuries as well.

Slip and Fall Injuries Occur Inside and Outside

It is not hard to imagine walking through a busy store or parking lot with armloads of bags and another shopper pushing you off balance. Or, you may slip on a clothing hanger tossed on the floor after an inconsiderate shopper got frustrated looking for an item. You might twist an ankle in a pothole or throw out your back sliding across an unsalted sheet of ice in the parking garage.

In any of these scenarios, you may be able to hold the property owner liable for your injuries. It is possible that the owner did not exercise proper crowd control or keep the premises safe from dangers. Maybe the parking lot was not properly lit or effectively shoveled. If the owner was negligent, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Attorneys like the ones at Leeds Brown who handle personal injury cases in New York and the surrounding counties, can explain your rights and help determine if you have a claim.

Bigger Crowds Mean More Injuries in Parking Lots

Whenever you have hundreds or even thousands of cars and people in one place, there is a risk of an accident. Parking garages have cars backing up and pulling in, and people with packages and children strolling along. It is not surprising that we have a rise in parking lot collisions during the busier shopping times of the year. How many times have you started to back out of a parking spot only to have a driver honk at you because he is trying to back out of his space at the same time?

Even more concerning than car damage is the risk of an accident to a pedestrian in these busy parking lots. Blind spots, distracted driving, and distracted walking can all contribute to an accident. Sun glare and poor lighting can make the situation even more dangerous for adults and children alike. Have you ever been startled to see a pedestrian emerge from your blind spot and been grateful you did not hit them?
The weather can also substantially increase the risk of an accident in a parking lot. Have you been stuck in a downpour only to run frantically to your car, paying little attention to activities around you? Anxious to get home, have you ever tried to drive through or back out of a spot without waiting for your defrosters to clear your windows?

We are often just an inch or two away from an accident in a parking lot. Events can occur quickly that may mean the difference between life and death. It is imperative that you remain attentive and cautious whenever you are around many vehicles and pedestrians.

Avoid Personal Injuries: Lawyers Share Safety Tips for Pedestrians and Drivers

Drivers and pedestrians should exercise caution when navigating parking lots throughout the year. The Automobile Club of America (AAA) suggests that during times when shopping centers and malls tend to be the most crowded, however, drivers and pedestrians should adopt additional safety precautions. Please consider the following suggestions:

Drivers:

  • Be aware of the cars you are parking next to- avoid parking between two pickup trucks or other large vehicles that may make it hard to see when you are trying to back out.
  • Park farther away from the main entrance where there are fewer cars and people but be mindful of personal security if you do.
  • Be sure that the area in which you choose to park is well-lit and not desolate.
  • Keep your car headlights on, even during the daytime, and especially in parking garages to make sure others can see you.
  • If it is allowed, try to back into your space to make it easier to pull out of it. Whenever possible, “pull through” when you leave.
  • Don’t ever rely solely on your rear camera when backing up. Be sure to look over your shoulders behind you for approaching pedestrians and cars. Be especially aware of any small children nearby.
  • Wear your seatbelt at all times.

Pedestrians:

  • If you are walking with children, hold their hands at all times.
  • Use walkways and crosswalks.
  • Be on alert for reverse lights, exhaust or anything else that indicates a car is backing out.
  • Do not wear headphones or talk on the phone- listen to your surroundings.
  • Put all purchases in the trunk to discourage thieves.

With a little bit of common sense, you can save yourself and others from injury and aggravation. If you have a fender bender or are injured on the property of another in New York, you may want to seek legal counsel. If negligence caused you to suffer injuries or property damage, you might be able to file a claim.

Find out what rights you may have by calling 1-800-585-4658 and speaking with personal injury attorneys at Leeds Brown. Let us help you recover any compensation to which you may be entitled.