Parking Experts Offer Shoppers 10 Tips for Black Friday and the Holiday Season
You can't shop if you can't
Fredericksburg, VA -- The turkey may still be the main
attraction of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, but for many the
lure of "Black Friday" deals and discounts runs a close second.
Last year, approximately 212 million people headed out to the malls
on Black Friday.
"While the throngs of shoppers bode well for retailers, the
large, deal-hungry crowds create significant challenges--
especially when it comes to parking," says Shawn Conrad, executive
director of the International Parking Institute (IPI), the
largest association of parking professionals.
Conrad and members of IPI offer the following tips for
- Exercise Caution When Backing Out. 25 percent
of parking lot accidents are caused by backing moves. Watch for
other drivers and pedestrians.
- Obey the Law. Obey posted speed limits and
stop signs, and reserve handicapped spots for disabled users. Drive
slowly and remember to signal.
- Keep Your Headlights On. Using your
headlights can reduce your crash risk, even in the daytime.
- Get Your Exercise. Choose a parking space
farther away from the building. Fewer people want to park in
distant spaces, so there is much less hassle.
- Follow Etiquette Basics. When waiting for a
spot, do not block other parking space seekers. Once parked, center
your vehicle and pull all the way into the space. Also, remember to
return shopping carts to designated cart corral areas.
- Be a Mindful Pedestrian. Parking lot etiquette
also applies to pedestrians. Do not walk in the middle of the lane,
refrain from texting while walking, and avoid jaywalking--instead
use marked pedestrian crosswalks.
- Watch for Small Children. Children can be hard
to see in busy parking areas and often make sudden, unpredictable
moves. Keep a close eye on any children with you and look out for
others as well.
- Buckle Up and Be Patient. Even low speed
collisions can result in injuries. Resist the temptation to honk
the horn (or worse). Showing grace instead of anger prevents
- Stay Alert and Aware of Your Surroundings.
Park in well-lit areas and always make sure you've rolled up your
car windows and locked your doors. Have your keys out and ready
when returning to your car.
- Time Yourself. If you park at a metered spot,
note the expiration time and plan to return a few minutes early,
setting an alarm as a reminder. Some on-street spaces now offer the
ability to extend your parking time remotely through your mobile
The parking industry, which has changed dramatically in the past
few years with new technologies to make it easier to find, reserve
and pay for parking, is committed to customer service, and a great
deal of planning goes into maximizing parking spaces and minimizing
problems at this time of year.
But the nation's estimated 100 million parking spaces are in
high demand this season and as Conrad says, "Allowing a little
extra time to park during the holidays may be the best strategy of
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parking tips from IPI
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