24 November 2012

Nationwide, Progressive Warn of Parking Lot Accident Uptick over Holidays

by Aric Mitchell, Posted in News

Nationwide, Progressive Warn of Parking Lot Accident Uptick over Holidays

If you avoided a parking lot ding this Black Friday, don't think you're out of the woods just yet. Nationwide Insurance reports that, according to 2012 claims data, 13% of accidents that occurred took place in parking lots. With Black Friday deals starting earlier in 2012 than years past and going beyond the (in)famous day-after-Thanksgiving sales - the busiest time for retailers - the risk will continue to grow.

Nationwide's Associate Vice President of Consumer Safety Bill Windsor warned customers in a Nov. 20 release to "be mindful of other drivers." 

"Crowded parking lots are fertile ground for fender benders. Don’t suspend your good judgment in the rush to shop. Please drive defensively," Windsor said. Nationwide representatives added that it is important not to speed through parking lots and that watching for pedestrians and other cars, particularly those waiting to claim your parking space, is important.

Progressive Insurance Claims Group President Tricia Griffith joined Nationwide's warning, telling a Cleveland-based ABC News affiliate that in 2011 alone, the number of Black Friday auto accident claims rose 25%, adding that minor accidents in parking lots were mostly to blame judging from Progressive claims data.

"It really is a parking lot problem in terms of way more cars than normal," Griffith told NewsNet5.

In a nation where Black Friday deals start on Thanksgiving and go all the way up to the Christmas season, increased vigilance is important. Economists point out that retailers are increasing the amount of deals they offer in an effort to fight back against sluggish economic growth.