TOWSON, Md. - With Black Friday just days away, AAA Mid-Atlantic is warning shoppers to try to stay clam while searching for that perfect parking spot.
Don't let tempers spoil your holiday shopping season. AAA suggests avoiding petty confrontations that could escalate into fender-benders.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 20% of all crashes happened in parking lots.
AAA has these tips to keep calm:
Head for the side door. Many shoppers want to park near their favorite stores or near the mall entrance. Most malls have secondary entrances on the sides and those entrances usually have less traffic and convenient spaces.
Play the outfield. Outlying areas normally have more open spaces, lighter traffic and less chance of a crash.
See and be seen. Use your headlights when looking for parking spaces, even during the day.
Beware of tall vehicles. Avoid parking between a pair of tall SUV's or minivans where it may be hard for you to back out.
Refrain from reverse. If possible, avoid backing out of a space by either backing into it or pulling through two spaces that are open nose-to-nose.
Watch out for little ones. It can tough to see small children in busy parking lots. Be aware of your surroundings.
Stay on track and alert. Pedestrians should use walkways and crosswalks, if possible.
Thieves like to window shop. Put all shopping bags in the trunk, including your GPS, so it won't be visible to would-be thieves.
Stay on guard in parking lots. Choose a well-lighted area to park at night. When leaving the mall, make sure you have your keys in your hand.
Slow down, buckle up. Even a low-speed crash can cause injuries. Make sure you're wearing a seatbelt and your child is in a child safety seat.
Wait until Cyber Monday. Many stores have special online promotions the Monday after Thanksgiving.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
According to the Maryland Lottery, Friday’s jackpot for the Mega Millions drawing is up to $425 million with a $228.2 million cash option.