Park! The Travel Perils Bring



AAA Insurance offers 10 tips to safely navigate holiday parking  


Phoenix. Nov. 26, 2012. The search for a spot in overflowing parking lots this holiday can turn a motorist into Scrooge faster than uttering “Bah, humbug.”   To help drivers maintain goodwill toward motorists and pedestrians, AAA Insurance would like to offer tips that can bring parking lot peace.



“Don’t let long lines and rude motorists rain on your holiday cheer this season,” said Brad Oltmans, vice president of insurance for AAA Arizona. “AAA urges drivers to remember that safety is paramount when behind the wheel.”


To remain on Santa’s “nice” list, AAA Insurance recommends the following 10 tips to avoid parking lot peril:


1. Park centered and straight. Avoid parking next to cars that are parked at an angle, and avoid parking at the end of an aisle where there is additional exposure from vehicles turning.


2. Take a walk, and consider parking by a side entrance and farther away to avoid congestion, as well as potential dings. Be sure, however, that outlying spots are well lit for your safety.


3. Stay in your lane. Drive only in designated lanes, and in the correct direction. Do not cut through empty spaces across the parking lot, as pedestrians and other drivers will not expect to see traffic from that direction. 


4. Eliminate distractions. Take care of phone calls, texts or navigation needs, and stow your phone before pulling out of your parking spot.


5. Keep watch. Slow down and scan for hazards. Another driver might be rushing to get to a space and not see you pulling out or a child could dart into your path.


6. Don’t put yourself in a tight spot, and avoid parking between large vehicles that can block your vision when backing out. If you find that you cannot see well enough to back out safely, recruit assistance from one of your passengers.


7. Pull forward if possible to avoid backing out of a space by either pulling through an open space ahead or backing into the space, if you can do so safely.


8. Buckle up! Even at low speeds, a collision can result in injuries.


9. Stay alert while on foot. When walking through the parking lot, use crosswalks when available, and watch for moving cars and cues, such as lit reverse lights or exhaust smoke. Also, stay off your phone and have your keys ready to remain watchful.


10. Stow shopping bags in the trunk. A thief can steal your gifts in a matter of seconds, so eliminate the temptation by keeping them out of sight.


If you are involved in a parking lot collision, determine if anyone was injured and call for emergency medical assistance if needed, then call the police to file a report. In most cases, an officer will not be dispatched unless there is an injury or significant damage.


Smart phone users can take advantage of the AAA Accident Assist app to guide them on what to do immediately following a collision. The app lists the necessary information to make a claim, offers one-touch access to request a AAA tow, and can put policy holders in contact with the AAA Insurance claims department.

Through Dec. 22, Arizona residents who request a new auto, home or life insurance quote and mention the “Holiday Cash Sweepstakes” will be entered to win $2,500 cash, courtesy of AAA Insurance. Call 1-866-298-1232 or visit

AAA Arizona, the Arizona affiliate of AAA, provides automotive, insurance and travel services to more than 825,000 Arizona members. Annually, AAA’s Roadside Assistance responds to more than 450,000 calls for help on Arizona roadways. The auto club also provides insurance, travel, auto repair, discounts and financial services to AAA members. Since its founding in 1927, AAA Arizona has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.