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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)–The holiday shopping season is in full swing, and mall parking lots are packed. However when lots are overcrowded, it can lead to an increase in car accidents.

“They just don’t pay attention when they’re backing up and occasionally, they will strike another vehicle,” says Columbus Traffic Officer Paul Garrett.

Garrett knows all too well how easy it is for motorists to have a car accident in the parking lot. Parking lot traffic increases dramatically during the month of December and drivers are simply not paying attention as they back out of parking spaces. One motorist says being a defensive driver helps to keep him safe.

“I just try to be as careful as possible. I try to look both ways, when I’m backing out. If somebody’s coming behind me usually I’ll just let them pass by and then I’ll back out,” says motorist Devin Herring.

In the past few days alone, there have been nearly a dozen parking lot accidents in Columbus. Officer Garrett says there are a few things drivers can do to decrease the chances of getting into a fender bender while out shopping.

“Whenever you back up, always look. Be a defensive driver and see where someone else is, if they’re really close to your vehicle. You don’t want to have an accident but some time they’re just unavoidable,” says Garrett.

Motorists should be aware of other moving vehicles and decrease their speed while driving through the parking lot. If you’d like more safe driving tips, just go to AAA at: http://www.autoclubmo.aaa.com/news/library/

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