Deals and dents: Fender benders numbers rise on Black Friday, according to insurance experts

CLEVELAND - Black Friday shoppers are at risk of going home with dinged and dented cars when they go to buy great bargains.

The number of car accident claims rose 25 percent on Black Friday in 2011, according to Tricia Griffith, the Claims Group President at Progressive Insurance.

Griffith said minor accidents in parking lots are to blame for most of the increase in the number of claims.

"It really is a parking lot problem in terms of way more cars than normal. People are anxious, and they're just trying to get in and get those deals," she said.

NewsChannel5's investigators obtained records from local police departments. We found four out of 13 accidents reported on private property in Mentor last Black Friday occurred in parking lots, including two at Great Lakes Mall and one at a nearby Best Buy parking lot.

"In the retail areas, in the parking lots... We do see an increase in accidents on Black Friday," said Mentor Police Sgt. Mike Majernik. "We get accidents, typically, at starting at two or three in the morning, where it's normally quiet. You'll see almost a rush hour type flow in these shopping centers," he said.

It's the same deal in Strongsville.

"It's gonna get crazy," said Strongsville Police Sgt. Lee Cosgrove. "We get a lot of traffic coming into town, particularly on Black Friday."

Cosgrove said there was a total of five accidents reported in the parking lot of SouthPark Mall on Black Friday during 2010 and 2011. 

What's worse, Cosgrove said drivers often fail to leave a note when they hit another car. 

"It's just un-courteous and rude. If you hit someone's car, leave a note, put your name on it, put your phone number on it," Cosgrove said.

Griffith said the types of accidents reported on Black Friday vary greatly.

"We see a couple of different claims. A lot where two people are backing out together. Some where people are in a rush and they hit parked cars. People rear-ending people... And then some were people break into cars," she said.

To avoid a Black Friday fender bender, Griffith said drivers should avoid cutting off other drivers or speeding to snag a preferred parking spot. They also take extra care when they back out of a parking spot. The most important thing, she said, is for drivers to avoid letting the stress of holiday shopping get to them.

"Be patient. Be safe," said Griffith.

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

Related Stories

Safe shopping on Cyber Monday plus ways to earn money back on your purchase Safe shopping on Cyber Monday plus ways to earn money back on your purchase

Cyber Monday deals are just as good if not better than Black Friday. Here's a look at the hot items and tips to earn money while you shop online.

Plan your shopping on Cyber Monday to save on products and earn rewards Plan your shopping on Cyber Monday to save on products and earn rewards

Joe the Coupon Guy shares his favorite sites for Cyber Monday savings.

Black Friday 2012: Mad rush at Victoria Black Friday 2012: Mad rush at Victoria's Secret Pink at Kansas mall

It kind of looked like a Justin Bieber concert in a Kansas mall as Black Friday crowds tried to push their way into the Oak Park Mall Victoria's Secret Pink store.

Earlier hours equaled more excitement for Black Friday shoppers at Aurora Farms Premium Outlets Earlier hours equaled more excitement for Black Friday shoppers at Aurora Farms Premium Outlets

Normally the mad dash for Black Friday begins at the stroke of midnight but shoppers were forced to adapt as stores opened their doors as early as 9 p.m.

'Hunky Santa' greets shoppers at SouthPark Mall in Strongsville on Black Friday

Inside SouthPark Mall in Strongsville, shoppers had a chance to take a picture with a "Hunky Santa" on Black Friday.

Black Friday: Live updates, shopper reports, tweets Black Friday: Live updates, shopper reports, tweets

Get the latest Black Friday updates from NewsChannel5 reporters at the stores, as well as shoppers in line.

Deals and dents: Fender benders numbers rise on Black Friday, according to insurance experts Deals and dents: Fender benders numbers rise on Black Friday, according to insurance experts

Black Friday shoppers should be careful on the streets and in parking lots. An national insurance expert says the average number of claims rose 25 percent on Black Friday in 2011.

Why Black Friday shoppers endure the crush Why Black Friday shoppers endure the crush

News footage of Black Friday sales, in which shoppers line up after Thanksgiving in search of steeply reduced merchandise, can resemble an episode of the classic nature show "Wild Kingdom."

Black Friday deals and freebies at Red Lobster, Macaroni Grill, Sonic Black Friday deals and freebies at Red Lobster, Macaroni Grill, Sonic

A trio of area restaurants are getting in on the Black Friday action by offering free or discounted food.

Black Friday deals: Why Black Friday 2012 is soooo overrated Black Friday deals: Why Black Friday 2012 is soooo overrated

John Matarese has the results of a new survey finding Black Friday's deals are not what they used to be.