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Staying Safe This Black Friday: Pedestrian Safety

By The Husband and Wife Law Team on November 24, 2016

When you’re out chasing the greatest deals of the season, you’re focused on finding the gifts you showed up for, getting in the checkout line, and getting out of the store before the crowd busts through at full force; but, if you really want to keep the day as stress-free as possible, you also have to focus on staying safe this Black Friday and exercising important pedestrian safety actions that will keep you from becoming the victim of a serious accident.

Although you may not consider your safety in terms of being a pedestrian, you’ll spend a great deal of time pounding the pavement while you are walking back and forth between the car and the stores at which you’re scoring great deals on awesome gifts, while you are standing in lines outside of stores that open early, and while traversing outdoor malls or walking from store to store in areas that are near to each other in order to avoid moving your vehicle. Read through these pedestrian safety tips and incorporate them into your Black Friday plan of attack to keep yourself and your shopping mates safe at all times.

Pedestrian Safety in Parking Lots on Black Friday

No matter what store or mob you’re confronting for Black Friday, you’re going to have to walk through a parking lot or two. Or ten. Unless you’ve elected to stay at home and deal with mobs of people online all trying to use the same server as you to make a payment. But for those out on the streets, headed to the real stores to bring home real objects and to pay in cold, hard cash, there’s going to be a lot of walking from one end of a huge parking lot to the next, just trying to get to the front of the building. And that’s if you don’t have to park several blocks away. When you’re walking through parking lots on a normal basis, you likely don’t think about the potential dangers lurking around every corner. Instead you just think about walking from your car to the store, going inside, doing your shopping, and moving along with your day and your life. On Black Friday, your tenor changes only slightly to include stomping down the people who are trying to get through the door before you and launching yourself into the new displays for the hottest toys on the market in order to ensure you are the coolest parent or adult around on Christmas day. But you’re missing something important: safety in the parking lot, where accidents increase on Black Friday, and you’re also more likely to become the victim of an injury than on any other day of the year. Check out these parking lot pedestrian safety tips to keep yourself safe and on the way to fame with your family for the holidays.

  • Walk slowly through the parking lot. Walking slowly through the parking lot on Black Friday gives you the opportunity to see what is going on around you. When you have the opportunity to see what’s happening around you, you have a greater capacity to react appropriately to dangers that may be lurking around every corner, like a vehicle that turns sharply around a corner, or one that drives across the parking lot in order to avoid long lines and having to wait at stop signs in the parking lot.
  • Keep your eyes on each car you must pass to make it from your car to the door of the store and back. It’s easy to get caught up in conversation with your shopping companions or to focus in on what you need to find once you’re in the store on Black Friday. And that can take your mind off of the cars that are in the parking lot. If your parking space is the closest to the store, you have less to worry about it when it comes to the number of parked cars between you and the store, because there aren’t any. But when there are dozens of parked cars on either side of the aisle and you must walk behind each of them to get to the store, it’s important to stop check, and move forward at every vehicle. Remember, you’re not the only focused shopper. And that means there are dozens of drivers in the parking lot you’re walking through who are more focused on getting to their next destination, and in sharing a victory song in the car, than they are focused on the people walking behind their vehicles.
  • Don’t linger in the parking lot. Lingering in the parking lot by talking on your cell phone, or taking your time to pack your purchases into your vehicle are two quick ways to put yourself in danger. When you are focused on your cell phone or your packages, you are not aware of vehicles around you that may back out of a space and hit you or your vehicle, or that may speed down lanes in the parking lot, trying to get the next best spot.

Pedestrian Safety While Waiting in Line on Black Friday

One of the biggest and longest standing traditions of Black Friday is standing in the lines outside of your favorite stores in order to get in and get a hold of some of the door busters and other amazing deals that are reserved for the earliest shoppers. But when emotions are high and frustration becomes insurmountable for the people who are trying to pick up their packages in the drive-up line or just trying to drive through parking lots filled with seas and lines of people, danger can also be high. This becomes of special concern on Black Friday when events and door busters occur when it is still dark outside and lighting is not as adequate as it should be. Check out these tips for keeping yourself safe when you’re a pedestrian hanging out in a parking lot, waiting to head into a store. They just might keep you in the line at the store instead of the line for medical care.

  • Stand on the sidewalk as much as possible. The lines get long at Black Friday opening events and that can make it impossible to stand on the sidewalk, especially if the line has formed itself to snake through the parking lot. But if you are able, stand on the sidewalk. You are less likely to be struck by a vehicle moving through the parking lot if you are standing on the sidewalk.
  • Get out of the way. If you must stand in the road, be aware of drivers that must drive around you. Although you are the pedestrian, you are standing in the byway and cars must be able to safely travel around you. Allow them to do so. The vehicles will be out of your way much more quickly than you will be out of the way of the drivers during the waiting period. Courtesy notwithstanding, it is in the best interests of your safety for you to move out of the way and allow vehicles to pass by.
  • Do not dart out in front of vehicles. There is a normal tendency in parking lots for pedestrians to walk out in front of vehicles as though drivers have quicker reflexes in parking lots. This is untrue, and is even more untrue on Black Friday, when drivers will be frantically searching for a parking space, leaving them little time and attention for pedestrians who are walking through the parking lot.
  • Don’t overestimate the attention span of drivers on the roadways. On Black Friday, every driver will be distracted, even when they are attempting to remain focused on the road. Frustration with other drivers, and with the shopping process can make drivers less attentive to pedestrians. Always double check before crossing streets or long stretches of shared parking lots, and make eye contact with drivers whenever possible before you cross in front of a car.

General Tips for Pedestrian Safety on Black Friday

In addition to specific safety rules you can follow to keep yourself safe on Black Friday when you’re walking and standing around, here are some things that will keep you safer no matter what pedestrian activities you are engaged in.

  • Wear bright colors. Sometimes this is easier said than done. You may not even think about it when you get up and get dressed in the mornings, but when you’re headed out into a crowd on Black Friday, you must consider the color of your attire. In the dark, while you walk through the parking lot and wait in the long line, dark colors, like black and blue (common colors for coats and jackets) are not the appropriate colors. Try brighter colors that will make it easier for drivers and other travelers to see you.
  • Always make eye contact with a driver before crossing in front of a vehicle. The art of eye contact is never lost when you’re working to keep yourself safe from being hit by a vehicle. When you make eye contact with a driver you know that the driver saw you.
  • Be patient. There will be many cars on the roads and in parking lots while you are out shopping for Black Friday. This means that more drivers will back out of spaces without looking, more with speed through parking lots, more will weave around people standing in lines. Avoid letting these behaviors frustrate you or make you angry, which may lead to injuries or actions that lead to an accident.

If you are struck by a vehicle on Black Friday and sustain serious injuries you may need help from a skilled Phoenix pedestrian accident attorney. The Husband and Wife Law Team understand the frustration, pain and suffering you are feeling when you’re unable to enjoy the holidays because you’re out of work, in the hospital, and watching bills pile up around you. We do whatever it takes to build a strong case to get you and your family back to life as usual as quickly as possible. We take on your legal and financial recovery so you can focus on emotional and physical healing. To talk about your case in a free consultation now, reach out to attorneys Mark and Alexis Breyer.

Posted in: Pedestrian Accident

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