‘Tis the season for families and celebration as the holidays are upon us. But for thousands of people in New York and across the country, it can be a tragic time as the festive atmosphere of holiday shopping can turn dangerous or deadly.

The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that hundreds of people die as a result of motor vehicle crashes in parking lots and garages, and thousands more suffer devastating injuries. Insurers report claims spike on Black Friday and remain above average throughout the holidays.

Drivers admit to a multitude of distractions

During the holidays, drivers and pedestrians are likely to be distracted by long shopping lists when heading to their local shopping centers and they are in a hurry to get to the next location. The NSC recently conducted a survey, where a majority of drivers admit they are not keeping their focus on driving:

  • 63% say they regularly adjust their climate control and GPS systems
  • 56% are reading and sending texts
  • 52% check their social media sites and routinely post while on the move
  • 50% check their email inboxes and even compose and send emails
  • 49% are watching video on their phones and often take selfies and other photos

Pedestrians are most vulnerable

In 2018, more than 6,000 pedestrians were killed across the United States, the highest number in almost three decades. Nearly one out of every 10 pedestrian fatalities in parking structures result from a vehicle backing up. The NSC offers these safety tips:

  • Pull through your parking spot, if possible, so your car is heading forward into traffic
  • Do a quick 360-degree survey of your vehicle and the surrounding area looking for low-lying objects and check if any people are nearby
  • Do not rely solely on your backup camera or other technology when leaving — look over your shoulder and use your mirrors

Seek knowledgeable and aggressive legal representation

Hundreds of thousands of people are injured each year in motor vehicle crashes, causing physical and financial hardships for many. If you are involved in a crash, an experienced personal injury attorney here in New York can help you receive the benefits you are owed from insurance companies as well as a fair and impartial medical assessment. If you are injured by someone else’s negligence, your attorney will aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve.