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The holidays have become quite the hustle on Long Island. Shopping outlet, plaza and mall parking lots become extremely dangerous for pedestrians this time of year. Around 500 deaths occur each year in parking lots and parking garages, as well as several other injuries. Drivers are rushing from store to store trying to get all their holiday shopping done. They’re making quick maneuvers to find parking spots while pedestrians are walking in each direction. A recent poll conducted by the National Safety Council found that 66% of drivers admit that they are distracted while driving through parking lots. And it’s safe to assume that drivers are even more distracted during the holiday rush. Drivers aren’t the only ones distracted, though – pedestrians are many times distracted while walking through parking lots, usually by their phones. All the rush and distraction become a recipe for disaster.

From the respondents of the poll, 63% set their GPS, 50% send or receive emails, 52% use social media, 49% take photos or watch videos, 43% use their smartphones, 43% search the internet, and 42% video chat all while driving through parking lots. The statistics are shocking. There are, on average, more than 50,000 crashes each year in parking lots, resulting in 500 or more deaths and over 60,000 injuries.

We urge everyone to be more vigilant in parking lots. Don’t let yourself become distracted, whether you’re walking through a parking lot or driving. The repercussions of driving or walking through a busy parking lot while distracted can be devastating. Don’t let the rush get to you either. Always keep attentive and take it slow.

And of course, we wish you the happiest of holidays this year!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday for families and a time for giving thanks. By the same token, it signals the beginning of the Christmas season, a tradition of giving, with many stores now opening on Thanksgiving Day, at midnight or in the early hours of the morning. Some stores offer fantastic deals to save on gifts.

Ironically, the ugly side of commercialism has also reared its head on Black Friday with shopping deals turning into shopping frenzies. Shoppers competing for limited supplies of merchandise have literally stampeded the stores. People still remember 2008 when the 34-year old employee at a Long Island Walmart store died as a result of a mob rush (New York Daily News).

Shoppers have also been hit by a cars in parking lots, gotten into fights with employees over merchandise, sent injured children to the hospital and fallen asleep at the wheel when driving home, according to the website Black Friday Death Count.

Your safety is more important than any sales item you could ever buy. CNET provides some interesting facts about Black Friday shopping that may encourage you to avoid stores and shop online instead. Here are a few:

Take precautions on Black Friday. Our Long Island attorneys at Palermo Touhy Bruno wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday weekend.