This holiday season, drivers all over Vancouver Island are going to have to navigate their way through parking lots.

This is a far more difficult task than you might think as ICBC said about 150,000 crashes happen in BC parking lots annually, resulting in 54 hundred injuries, and vehicle damage claims usually exceed one point five billion dollars.

Joanna Linsangen with ICBC said people drive much slower in parking lots, but a variety of hazards are lurking around every corner.

“Parking lots can be hazardous and they could get into a crash, no you’re not dealing with major intersections or people travelling at 80 kilometres an hour, but parking lots have their own challenges,” said Linsangen. “You’ve got narrow lanes, you’ve got blind spots, lots of activity, people are walking on the road, so it’s just as important to make sure you pay attention to what’s going on around you.”

Linsangen said drivers underestimate the danger in parking lots.

“There are certain drivers out there who are lulled into a false sense of security when driving through parking lots,” said Linsangen. “They feel as though, ‘well, people are driving much slower, I probably won’t get into a crash.’ That’s certainly not the case, as last year we saw 150,000 crashes happen in parking lots.”

Linsangen says you need to make sure you program your maps and music into your phone before you turn on your car.

It’s also not a good idea to try and put on your seatbelt while you’re driving.

Last year saw the most crashes ever in BC, as 350,000 incidents called BC roadways home and the frequency of parking lot accidents also spiked.