Study: Parking lots as dangerous as roads for accidents

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Parking lots are just as dangerous as roads when it comes to accidents.

The National Safety Council found as many as two-thirds of drivers may be distracted while pulling into shopping centers.

And crowds are just going to get worse heading into the weekend. Many parents are off work and their kids are out of school for the holiday which is causing parking lots to be packed.

“Crazy, it’s crazy, I guess it’s because it’s the holidays,” commented Nita McNeese.

It’s a common sight in local shopping centers around Greenville; drivers flying, not stopping properly at stop signs, and even parking erratically.

“Unbelievable,” said McNeese. “When I pulled in, the car was sticking half way out.”

And it’s not just drivers. Pedestrians also walk across the street with their cell phone attached to their hand and not fully paying attention to what could be in their path.

“People are hustling and bustling,” commented McNeese.

The National Safety Council found one in five accidents happen in parking lots. That’s why, starting Thursday morning, Greenville police will monitor shopping plazas like Best Buy and Target.

“More traffic on the road, more traffic in our parking lots is a higher chance that there is going to be a wreck,” said Sgt. Michael Montanye, Greenville Police. He said, in shopping plazas, there are no set speed limit like on roads and highways. He said it’s up to the driver to put the phone down and pay attention. “Be extra cautious! Look out for not only that car that may be looking to park or backing up behind you, but also the people walking to and from their cars.”

As for McNeese, she said she’s even guilty of walking and texting but said, after hearing the statistics, her phone is going in her pocket.

“We all need to be more careful and pay more attention of what’s going on,” said McNeese.

If you’re heading out to do some shopping, make sure you bring your patience with you. The lines at the store are getting longer and longer.

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