AAA Offers Tips to Keep Vehicles, Packages and Pedestrians Safe
Buyers beware. Rushing around to save money could actually cost you.
That is the message from AAA as shoppers looking for big savings head out in a big hurry for Black Friday - which now begins on Thursday.
"Parking lots will be packed and drivers will be distracted, a dangerous combination at any time of year", says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in greater Hartford. "Where and how you park can literally be a lifesaver".
AAA Insurance is offering 3 tips to ensure the safety of your vehicle, your packages and other holiday shoppers:
1. Park in a well-lit area
2. Don't leave packages or other valuables in sight
3. Rather than pulling in forward, back in to the parking spot to reduce risk
Why Back In?
Unlike drivers in most other countries, a AAA survey found that American drivers are more likely to pull forward into a parking space – and reverse into traffic to pull out – a habit that could be both costly and deadly.
“According to traffic safety experts, almost 300 people a year are killed – and some 18,000 injured - by a driver backing up, and most of those tragedies happen in parking lots” Parmenter says.
While AAA does not expect Americans to reverse their parking habits overnight, holiday shoppers looking to save money might want to consider the change. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, almost 15% of accidents that lead to insurance claims happen in parking lots.
A previous AAA study that looked at the effectiveness of rear traffic alert systems – meant to warn drivers about anything or anyone behind their vehicle – determined that some systems are not even designed to detect pedestrians and others failed at an alarming rate – missing pedestrians behind the vehicle up to 60 percent of the time.
“According to driver training experts, the safest way to park a vehicle is by backing into the space, and then later pulling forward” says AAA Driving School Director Jennifer Shorette. “This technique maximizes driver visibility and minimizes chances of striking a pedestrian or other vehicle”.
AAA is reminding all motorists that there is no savings more important than saving lives.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.