SURVEY SAYS: Holiday Parking Lot Behavior

Last week, we covered a survey about mishaps and confrontations in parking lots during the holiday season.

I asked NewsDash readers, have you had a parking lot accident during the holiday season? What strategies do you use to find a parking space? And, have you confronted another driver or been confronted by another driver about parking?

The good news is 85.4% of responding readers have not had a parking lot accident during the holiday shopping season. However, 4.9% reported they have hit a car, 7.3% said another car hit them, and 2.4% hit a pole. One reader reported being accosted by another person parked in front of them because that person needed a jump.

Asked what strategy they use for finding a parking spot in a crowded parking lot, most (52.4%) selected “other.” But, 40.5% said they circle the lot and drive through the aisles to see what spots are available then decide which to go for, 31% reported they follow people with bags or shopping carts and wait for them to load and leave, and 2.4% “make” a spot at the end of rows or next to or straddling curbs.

Most of the “other” responses were from readers who park as far away as possible and walk. Others just park in the first available spot they find. Other readers said:

  • I avoid it altogether by shopping online!
  • I let my husband drop me off at the door and he either waits or finds a spot
  • One lap near the store, than take an open spot.
  • I have parking karma and I always get a good parking spot. : )
  • Shopping on lunch time instead of weekends helps with the parking. You can only make it to one store each day, but it beats the weekend crowds.

Twelve percent of responding readers have said something to another driver about bad parking or bad manners, and 8% admitted someone has said something to them about bad parking or bad manners. Twenty-four percent have made a hand gesture to another driver while driving away, and 16% have had someone else make a hand gesture to them while driving away. No one reported being in a physical altercation with someone over parking. Four percent reported someone’s bad or illegal parking to police or security.

Among the 60% who chose “other” when asked about altercations, the majority indicated they have not had an altercation with another driver about parking during the holiday season. Others said:

  • Parking away from everyone avoids having to confront people.
  • I just let it go.
  • Make comments thru my window while driving away.
  • I've left a lot fewer notes than I've thought about leaving!
  • Holiday shoppers are CRAZY and I avoid them.
  • It's the season of peace - Really!
  • I've witnessed it with others, but never been a party.
  • No public confrontations, but an occasional negative thought about someone.
  • Unless it was something really bad (such as speeding through a parking lot), I keep to myself. I may mutter under my breath but an inconsiderate person is an inconsiderate person no matter what I say or do.


In verbatim comments, some readers suggested it wouldn’t hurt anyone to just park in the back of a lot and walk. Several noted that bad parking lot behaviors do not express the spirit of the season. Many said they just avoid all the bad moods and frustrations by shopping online. Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said: “I love internet shopping. There's always a spot to park myself, a shopping cart is always available, and the only accident I've ever had is leaving my wallet out of arm's reach.”

Thanks so much to all who participated in our survey!



Too many people wrongly park in the handicapped spots. If caught they should be forced to park in the last spot in the lot!

It is the holiday season. I don't want to be in a bad mood so I shop online.

You're going to be eating a lot over the holidays. Find a spot at the back and hike in. Your belt will appreciate it!

Better to go when lots are less crowded like Monday nights or Fridays between 11 AM and 3 PM

Last year on the Sunday before Christmas I was at Costco. Pulling out I backed into a car pulling out on the other side of the aisle. I am still not sure who hit who and since we both had the same insurance company it ended up not being a problem. The insurance covered total repairs on both cars and did not even charge the deductible. I highly recommend Mercury Insurance as they were so easy to work with.

Perhaps it's because we tell ourselves we're thinking about the joy of others that some of us become so aggressive and selfish. Sort of a "the ends justify the means" mentality. I try not to be that person, but I do find myself singing "Some Beach" sometimes!

My strategy-shop on-line. I avoid stores around the holidays as much as possible. People can suck the holiday joy right out of you, so avoidance is necessary.

Parking bad manners make shopping a chore instead of a pleasure.

Parking lot behavior during the holidays definitely does not display goodwill towards men (or women). Bah humbug!

I love internet shopping. There's always a spot to park myself, a shopping cart is always available, and the only accident I've ever had is leaving my wallet out of arm's reach.

It's so dark, cold, slippery and crowded in parking lots during the holidays that I do as much shopping as possible on line. For shopping I have to do in person, I either schedule time off work to get it done when it's less crowded, or go to 24 hour venues really early in the morning, when parking isn't an issue. Parking and shopping hassles really add to holiday stress.

And this is why I do most of my holiday shopping online!

I can sum it up in one word - "Rude". However sometimes you do get the gems who are very courteous.

Verbatim (cont.)

People's feeling are more important than finding a parking spot I don't stress out about it.

I hate to say it but parking lot behaviors happen all year round. I tend to park next to a curb as far away from where I am going to avoid all that stress and yet someone who is parking lot challenged still seeks to park near me. I once came out of a store to see that a driver had placed all of her packages on the trunk of my car while she fumbled around making room in her trunk. I asked if I could help her remove her belongings from the trunk of my car, she thought I was the rude one. Sadly that was not during the holiday season. Call me an avoider, but I'd rather buy gift cards and stay home.

People are ridiculous when it comes to parking, this is why I try to shop and non-busy times. I hate crowds and crabby people during the holidays even more. What happened to the "Christmas Spirit"? We need to get back to that. Should be more about the meaning of the holidays than what presents/sales/parking spots we get. UGH!

It's Christmas, people. The season of love and joy. Peace on Earth; good will to men. Not just to people we like; not when it is convenient; and not just words but actions we should do. I do not understand why people cannot be kind, patient and understanding particularly at this time of year. Maybe I'm old fashioned or naive, but I'd rather live in my world that theirs, any day.

Certainly no holiday spirit. If people would park further away they might get some needed exercise.

I was sitting in my car about to leave when an SUV with a young, impatient, blonde female driver and her friend drove up and stopped nearby. She clearly thought she was "entitled" to the space I had yet to vacate. As I watched her rude behavior, I deliberately picked up my cell phone and made a call. She was furious and drove off way too fast. I made sure an older woman got my space.

Go shopping on slow days at low traffic times (these exist even during the holiday shopping rush) such as Tuesday or Saturday night.

Other the past few years we've moved to almost 100% internet shopping. Neither my husband nor I are fans of crowded malls so we usually leave frustrated. I usually take at least one weekday off to do any in-store shopping. I want to be happy during the holidays so I do everything in my power not to let myself be put in frustrating situations.

With snow on the ground, it is hard to see the lines, I just try to not take up more than my share of space. And I try to shop on lunch times or right after work. I never shop on Thanksgiving weekend.

Piece of cake. Rather deal with that than employees during and after open enrollment - especially after they missed it because it was our fault.


NOTE: Responses reflect the opinions of individual readers and not necessarily the stance of Asset International or its affiliates.