Winter holiday season… nightmares!

It’s a sad reality that this annual winter holiday season—which so many eagerly and joyfully anticipate—is actually riskier than most other times of the year. Everyone is in a hurry, streets are crowded, darkness arrives early, and weather is severe in much of the country.

Parking operators—whether they manage self-parking lots and garages or provide valet-parking services for the hordes of holiday shoppers—are right in the thick of things. Over the many years our ArmorPark program has placed insurance for this industry, we have seen countless claims during this season. Here are just two examples from the many.

Two valet drivers moving cars for attendees of a holiday event drive two high-value vehicles down an alternate route to their parking destination—in torrential rain. One right after the other, they “drown” the cars in high water. Of course, the valet drivers hadn’t known the condition of that route or they wouldn’t have used it, but the flood waters destroyed both vehicles’ engines and interiors—totaling them.

Holiday revelers feeling “merry and bright” walk into the path of cars being driven by parking valets. Injuries result—and so does litigation. Guess whose side the jury took when this went to trial? (Hint: It wasn’t the parking operator’s side.)

Your first duty to your hardworking parking employees is not to wish them joy of the season, but rather to warn them that this could be a tragic holiday for them—and your parking patrons—if they do not take extra care during this time. By placing greater emphasis on safe practices, let the greatest gift you give be your parking patrons’ and your employees’ safety.