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Car accidents rise on Black Friday

Cars sit in the parking lot of a

Cars sit in the parking lot of a Kmart store in Chicago. (Nov. 14, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

Electronic shops and department stores aren’t the only businesses ready to cash in on Black Friday. Your local auto repair shop and your friendly car insurance agent are also probably licking their chops in anticipation of greater sales.

Frenzied trips to packed stores the day after Thanksgivings produced 36.5 percent more parking-related claims nationally on that day than on typical Fridays in November and December, according to a study by Progressive Insurance. And it’s only getting worse: Black Friday parking claims doubled between 2010 and 2011, as sales rose 7 percent to a record high. (See the infographic Progressive released with the study below.)

And there’s also danger just getting to the parking lots in the hours after Thanksgiving dinners. People often hit the roads before the last of the wine and eggnog has worn off, and drunken driving arrests rise dramatically during Thanksgiving weekend, Newsday reported last year.

But if you can’t wait until Cyber Monday to get your holiday shopping done and must hit the stores on Black Friday, consider parking in the back of the lot rather than angling for the perfect spot. You’ll save yourself from aggressive drivers closer to the store entrances and you might even walk off that extra slice of pumpkin pie you just couldn’t resist on Thanksgiving.

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