If you're a Georgia resident residing in or around the metro-Atlanta area, you've probably heard about the new outlet mall opening in Woodstock. The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta had its official grand opening today with a ribbon cutting and sales galore. The outdoor-style outlet mall measures approximately 370,000 square feet, which is the largest built since Sugarloaf Mills in Lawrenceville over a decade ago. The outlet mall boasts 99 retailers, which is exciting for many in the northern Atlanta area. The estimated number of visitors for this weekend was in the tens of thousands, but this number may already have been surpassed.
Unfortunately, this large turnout has caused quite a lot of traffic today. Northbound lanes of Interstate 575 were backed up within an hour of the grand opening. This grand opening poses a large risk for automobile accidents and pedestrian injuries.
Driving in traffic is often stressful and time consuming, but it is important for your safety and the safety of those around you to be patient and aware of your surroundings while in traffic. Leave enough space between your vehicle and those in front of you and maintain the appropriate traffic procedures so that car wrecks can be avoided. It takes longer to wait on a police report after a fender bender than it would to simply wait out the traffic safely.
In events such as this in which a large opening draws a large crowd, an additional safety concern is that of parking lots, both for drivers and pedestrians. The mixing of pedestrian and automobile traffic many times causes accidents. The lack of space and tight areas within parking lots makes it difficult to evade a wreck, especially when a vehicle is traveling at a high speed. Here are a few safety tips to prevent from being involved in a pedestrian accident within the crowded parking lots at the Outlet Shoppes of Atlanta or elsewhere:
- Be alert at all times, both while driving and walking in congested parking lots. If you aren't paying attention, it is easy to miss pedestrians walking in your lane of traffic. Turn off electronic devices, such as radios and cell phones, before entering a crowded parking lot. These items are often a source of distraction for drivers.
- Drive very slowly. It is much easier to stop suddenly when you are not traveling at a high rate of speed. Even driving well below the speed limit is appropriate when in congested areas. Avoid racing for a parking spot, as this decreases your alertness to those around you and oftentimes causes an increase in speed.
- Observe and follow all traffic lanes and avoid cutting diagonally through lots, as this makes your chances of being involved in an accident higher.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals. Stop signs, yield signs, and cross walks are there for a reason.
- Watch for rolling shopping carts, parents pushing strollers, and running children.
- When backing out of a space, watch for other vehicles and pedestrians behind and beside your vehicle.
- Avoid blind spots within parking lots by centering and straightening your vehicle as much as possible in a parking spot, not parking near vehicles parked at an angle, and not parking on the ends of aisles. This puts your vehicle in the way of turning automobiles.
At Jones & Swanson, we hope these safety tips for parking lots prevent you from being involved in an accident involving another vehicle or pedestrian while shopping at the new Outlet Shoppes of Atlanta. These guidelines should not only be used in congested situations such as the new outlet opening, but in all parking lots across the state of Georgia.
Unfortunately, not all pedestrian accidents can be avoided. If your or someone you know has been injured in a pedestrian accident due to a negligent driver, contact our Marietta pedestrian injury attorneys today at (770) 427-5498.