Christmas shopping can put a ding in your spirit if not careful when parking

IT MIGHT be best to not do Christmas shopping Thursdays, according to car insurer NRMA.

The insurer's claims data revealed that last year in New South Wales, car park collisions in December increased by 18% above the annual average, with Thursday being the most common day for a car park collision*.

"The quick dash to the shopping centre to buy a last minute gift may cost you more than you think if you end up involved in a collision," NRMA Insurance Head of Research, Robert McDonald said.

"Typical parking collisions involved hitting other cars, runaway shopping trolleys, or scraping pylons and poles, with 46% of car park collisions occurring while reversing.

"We want to encourage drivers to obey the parking rules and get into the Christmas spirit by being considerate and alert for other drivers when circling the car park.

Tips for driving safely

For a less stressful Christmas parking experience, NRMA Insurance offers the following tips:

  •  Obey the parking rules and traffic directions and be alert for other drivers who don't;
  •  Drive slowly and look out for distracted shoppers;
  •  When reversing in or out of a car space, go slow and don't just rely on your mirrors - look over your shoulder as well;
  •  Reversing cameras and sensors can help, but drivers should still be aware of what's around them;
  •  If you can, reverse into a car space, so it's easier to see in both directions when pulling out;
  •  Watch out for stray shopping trolleys and do your bit by returning them to their bay;
  •  Use indicators every time you make a turn;
  •  Don't pull out around cars that are waiting to drive into a parking space - be patient and give them room to move;
  •  If you damage a parked car, do the right thing and leave a note with your details; and
  •  If you witness a collision, pass on any information you have to the innocent party.

"With Christmas around the corner, we're calling for shoppers to allow for extra time and to take it easy while at the wheel when navigating car parks," Mr McDonald said.

* Based on NRMA Insurance Comprehensive Car Insurance claims FY 14/15

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