NSC poll puts the spotlight on distractions in parking lots

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The National Safety Council is urging holiday shoppers to be extra vigilant, citing a recent NSC poll in which two-thirds of drivers admitted they’ve made a phone call – and 56 percent have texted – while driving in a parking lot.

NSC states that more than 50,000 crashes occur in parking lots and parking garages every year, resulting in 500 or more deaths and more than 60,000 injuries. And it’s not only drivers who are distracted: From 2001 to 2011, more than 11,000 pedestrians were seriously injured because they were distracted by their phones.

Other behind-the-wheel distracted behaviors reported by poll participants:

  • Programing a GPS (63 percent)
  • Using social media (52 percent)
  • Sending or reading emails (50 percent)

“Parking lots are intense driving environments that require both drivers and pedestrians to pay close attention,” Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of NSC, said in a press release. “It is discouraging that so many drivers are willing to add distractions to that mix. When you’re in a parking lot, you need to be hyper-vigilant to the risks surrounding you – just because speeds are lower doesn’t mean you are safe.”