Imagine trying your best to avoid an accident along the highway only to get one in the parking lot!
It’s ridiculous, but it happens. It’s like the brave soldier who survives a fierce battle only to be fatally wounded by a brother upon returning home.
A parking lot should be the end of the road where you heave a sigh of relief after a long journey. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case; the parking lot can be another battleground whether you have mastered parallel parking or not.
All you have to do is learn how to prevent them. You can then save your car, passengers, and yourself from harm. Moreover, by preventing any form of accident, including even minor ones, your insurance will reward you with the “no claim bonus”. For starters: an insurance policy can cover even parking lot accidents.
There are tons of tips you will hear here and there, but we have picked the ones we consider are the best or basic ones always to apply when parking or unparking.
How to Avoid Parking Related Accidents
The following tips will help you avoid parking lot accidents:
1. Drive Slowly To/In/From the Parking Lot
Please make it a habit to considerably slow down as you approach the parking lot. Continue driving slowly in it and when leaving.
Some parking lots have heavy car and foot traffic. You can hit another moving car or a pedestrian as you search for space while driving above the recommended speed limit for a particular parking lot.
You can also hit another driver coming out of his car, perhaps distracted by a phone conversation.
You have also seen those who walk through the parking lot pulling their shopping trolleys (in malls/supermarkets parking lots) without bothering to look around for oncoming cars. Well, they assume you are seeing them, so the buck stops with you.
Children also play in some parking lots
If you see no speed limit post, keep it 15 mph or 10 km/h. This will enable you to brake in time to prevent an accident.
2. Make Good Use of Your Mirrors
First, ensure your mirrors are always adjusted adequately so that you can see all around you. As you make turns in the parking lot to get to an open slot, watch out for obstacles through the mirrors.
But watching through the mirrors is not all because they never reveal the blindspots. You should turn your head around as well to see the blindspots as you back up.
Thanks to technology, you can now install a backup camera in your car to help you have a better view of the rear as you reverse. But even with the backup camera, you still need to turn your head around.
Parking in a busy, congested parking lot with trucks or SUVs is a serious matter to be left for the mirrors and camera.
3. Use the Turn Signals (Indicators)
Some drivers make good use of the turn signals while driving, only to forget about them when parking. For them, keeping with the traffic rules ends the moment they are out of the main road.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Before you turn in a parking lot, use your turn signals to alert other road users that you are making a turn. Without the signals, other parking lot users can only guess your next moves, and not everyone is good at guessing.
Make it a habit, do it even when you are sure nobody is watching so that it becomes part of your routine parking procedure. It can protect you from parking lot accidents.
4. Park in Open Parking Bays
Some drivers like to park as close as possible to the building they are to walk into to not walk for long.
But this can come at a price. On returning to their cars, some occasionally find dents or scratches on their cars.
The closer you get to a building’s entrance, the less space there is in the parking lot. It is congested, and you can hit another car as you park, or you may return to find your car damaged by a driver who is already gone.
To avoid these, why not always park in the open or remote sides of the parking lot? You can also park at the end of a row of parking slots or bays so that only one bay is next to your car. This can help minimize parking lot accidents.
5 Park Strategically
As you park in a parking lot bay, think about how you will emerge when it’s time to leave. You are more likely to cause an accident when backing up in the parking lot than when moving forward.
If it is possible to park with your car’s front forward, the better, because you will not have to back up when leaving the bay. You can then easily see the obstacles in front of you.
However, only do this rear-first parking if there is sufficient space because it is riskier when getting in.
6. Avoid Distractions While Parking!
Distractions are more dangerous when you are in high traffic, but if you are one of those drivers who assume that the parking lot is safe enough for distractions, note that you should avoid them even at the parking lot.
You may have good reasons why you need to consult the GPS as you park or un-park, but the good reasons may not help you avoid an accident.
Hence, stay focused; put down your cellphone or stop chatting with the other passengers as you navigate the parking lot.
Wrapping It Up
When parking, do not always think about yourself; consider the good of everyone. This can significantly help to reduce accidents.
You may want to embrace technology further by installing motion detectors and other parking assist systems to help you park safely. The world is changing fast, so keep up with the latest technology breakthroughs.
Wanna become a good driver? Join us at Pierre Paul Driving School in Brooklyn, New York, to start the journey.