Odds of parking lot accidents rise as shopping traffic increases - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports, Social

Odds of parking lot accidents rise as shopping traffic increases

Shoppers pack Lakeside Mall Shoppers pack Lakeside Mall
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Shoppers heading out to find Black Friday and subsequent holiday bargains, should use caution and exercise patience in mall and supermarket parking lots.

About 20 percent of all vehicular accidents happen in parking lots, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

If you hit, scrape or otherwise damage a parked car — or if you’re the victim of such an accident — there are steps you can take to make life easier for yourself and the victim:

IF YOU HIT A PARKED CAR

  • Own up:  Don’t drive away—if another customer or a surveillance camera spots you, you could be punished for a hit-and-run.
  •  Track down the other car’s owner: Head into the store and speak to someone at the customer service desk. Describe the car to the employee, and have him or her announce it over the store’s loudspeaker.
  •  Leave a note: If you’re unable to find the other driver, jot down basic information—your name, phone number and a brief explanation of the accident—and place it in a secure spot on the car. Write down the license plate number and take a photo of the damage if you have a camera with you.
  •  Call the police: Depending on how extensive the damage is, you may want to involve the police. They’ll document the accident and they can help you find the other car’s owner.

 IF YOU’RE THE VICTIM

  • Contact your insurance agent: Let him or her know what happened as soon as possible. Your agent will help you determine the next steps.
  •  Take notes and record evidence: If the other driver is still around, jot down his or her name, address, phone number, driver’s license number and insurance company. Take pictures of the damage with your phone or a camera, if you have one on hand.
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