The Law Offices of John Phebus

Doing any Black Friday shopping? Read this first

In just two days, countless Phoenix residents will be dashing to local shopping centers and department stores in search of the best Black Friday deals. But an unfortunate side effect of the excitement and chaos surrounding Black Friday shopping is parking lot accidents.

Parking lots are the site of many car accidents, especially when they are crowded and people are in a hurry. Being involved in a parking lot fender-bender is one sure way to put a damper on your Black Friday savings and fun, so keep these tips in mind to stay safe:

Know who has the right-of-way. Parking lots can be confusing with so many cars traveling in different directions, which is why it's important to know who has the right-of-way:

  • Drivers on the thoroughfare have the right-of way over drivers in feeder lanes. Thoroughfares are typically wider and exit to the main street while feeder lanes are narrower and start and end at the thoroughfares.
  • Drivers in feeder lanes have the right-of-way over cars backing up. If you are backing out of a parking stall you must wait until the lane is clear, just like you would wait for a street to be clear before backing out of a driveway.
  • Stop signs and yield signs must be obeyed in parking lots. It's obvious that running a stop or yield sign could easily lead to an accident on the streets, and the same is true in parking lots.

Drive slowly and watch for pedestrians. On Black Friday, people entering the stores will be anxious to get inside and people leaving the stores will be excited about their purchases, which can distract them from other cars in the parking lot. Be prepared for shoppers to step right out in front of your vehicle by driving slowly and cautiously.

Park away from other cars, if possible. While we all like to snag a parking spot as close to the store entrance as possible, there is a reason you often see nice cars parked away from other vehicles. Parking away from the crowd can help reduce your chances of being door-dinged or backed into.

Hopefully, these tips will help you to avoid getting into a parking lot accident on Black Friday. Of course, accidents are often out of your control, so talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer in your area if an accident does occur and causes damage or injuries.

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