The typical holiday shopper image is that of a pedestrian leaving the mall, uncomfortably loaded with too many bags full of merchandise, on their way to the parking lot. For many shoppers, especially those with young children, this is the time of the year that there are more people out at shopping centers paying attention to those kids than they are the cars driving by. And that creates a dangerous situation.
Pedestrian Dangers at Shopping Centers
There are a slew of dangers to pedestrians at Santa Barbara County malls and shopping centers:
- Impaired visibility – Packages and bags that impair your visibilty can lead to disastrous results and prevent you from reacting reasonably to prevent an accident.
- Flawed pavement – a disruption in a curb, pothole, uneven sidewalk, or unmarked step can cause a pedestrian to slip and fall.
- Distracted Drivers – drivers who are too busy paying attention to their phones, their children, or looking for a parking lot may not be watching out properly for pedestrians and other traffic.
- Personal safety – pedestrians travelling alone are at significant risk of being the victim of theft. Depending on what the robbers are able to obtain, there is also a risk of identity theft.
Ways to Improve your Safety as a Pedestrian
If you must venture out to a shopping mall your best bet is to use the buddy system. Having someone else with you can be a deterrent to many undesirable situations because there will be a witness.
Other tips include:
- Pay attention and remain alert as you walk. Take notice of marked traffic areas and only cross where it is safe to do so, not only where it is convenient.
- Look out for hazards in the sidewalk and roadway. In order to do this, you have to be able to see them. If you need to carry packages to the car, ask for help so that your visibility is not impaired.
- Separate your valuables. Keep your state I.D. and/or passport in a separate area with cash and a credit card. This should not be in your purse or wallet, so that if you have to give those to a thief, your identity is better protected.
- Keep records of all your credit cards and financial information at home so that you can easily report them stolen if your things are taken.
- Don’t dress to impress. Wear clothing you can move quickly in when shopping. Save your high heels for parties during the season.
If you or someone you care about is hurt while shopping as a pedestrian, talk to the experienced Santa Barbra pedestrian injury attorneys at the law office of NordstrandBlack PC at (805) 962-2022 to get legal advice and counsel.