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Black Friday is a week from today. The combination of holiday shopping, thousands of pedestrians, and just as many cars, make for a "toxic mix" in large parking lots, according to the Montgomery County police chief.
This scenario is unfortunately very common around the holidays, says police chief Thomas Manger. Drivers backing out of parking spaces don't see people walking behind or next to their car, and those pedestrians get hit.
Manger says the holiday season always brings a spike in vehicle-pedestrian collisions, and slowing the increase is difficult. But in addition to drivers being free of distractions like using their cell phones, he advises this sometimes-difficult move.
"I can't help but think about the fact that police and really anyone in public safety are taught to back into a parking space, because it's so much safer to pull out of a parking space," he says. "I realize not everybody feels comfortable doing that, and there are some parking lots that are so busy or so narrow that it's tough to do."
Manger adds that collisions outside of parking lots are usually split on who is to blame — the driver or the pedestrian. But inside parking lots, he says it's the driver's fault around 80 percent of the time.