ICBC cautions drivers as parking lot crashes peak over the holidays


WATCH: Circling the parking lot, waiting to pounce on an empty spot. For many of us, that’s the reality of Christmas shopping at our favourite malls. ICBC though has issued a warning, saying parking lot crashes lead to tens of thousands of accidents and thousands of injuries every year. Kori Sidaway reports. 

The holiday season is officially here, especially at Uptown Mall.

But as the number of shoppers increases, so do the number of vehicles in the parking lots.

“I won’t come after the beginning of December, because it’s just busier!” said Vancouver Islander Sherry Baskerville-Bridges.

“We try to choose our times wisely and we drive slowly and I try not to shop too much,” said Victoria resident Kristin Schnurr.

“Road rage, you know people getting angry at other people because they’re taking other people’s spaces,” said Laurie, who was shopping early.

According to ICBC, about 150,000 crashes happened in parking lots just last year alone, resulting in 5,400 injuries.

The majority of those fender benders occurred on holiday season weekends, with more people preoccupied with their shopping list than eyes on the road.

“You’ve got things on your mind, you’ve got a long big shopping list and a lot of things to do in a short period of time,” said ICBC spokesperson Joanna Lisangan.

“Leave a little bit early to find that perfect parking spot.”

Last year, Uptown Mall saw 120 crashes, 14 injuries and 24 hit and runs. Mayfair saw slightly more, with 130 crashes resulting in six injuries and 51 total hit and runs.

And the major chunk of those happen over the holidays.

“It’s a little hectic I suppose, but if you can find a hidden parking spot place that no one knows, usually underground, that’s good,” said shopper Carrie Chow.

“I’ve backed in, that’s one thing I encourage people to do,” said Baskerville-Bridges.

“Slow down, watch where you’re going,” warned Laurie.

And those are all things ICBC suggests you do: park underground, and when you do, reverse-in so you have a visible exit.

And most of all, focus on the road, because you wouldn’t want to be put on the naughty list, now would you?

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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