Most drivers tend to underestimate the safety hazards in a car parking lot for both pedestrians and vehicles. In a typical parking lot, pedestrians are sharing space with moving vehicles which call for precautionary measures to avoid accidents and car collisions.
Experts from IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) observe that at least 14 percent of all vehicle collisions happen in parking lots. Both drivers and pedestrians need to be extra careful to avoid accidents and collisions. Below are some tips to help you stay safe in a parking lot.
Always Choose Your Parking Spot Wisely
Choosing your spot well can help remain safe in a parking lot. The place you choose should be well lit and easily identifiable. Always avoid parking your car between large trucks, vans, SUVs or other tall trucks. You should be keen on the surrounding and not on the spot itself. Be on the lookout for pedestrians, other drivers, or parking lot supplies.
Be Observant and Careful
Make sure that you scan a full 360 degrees before you back out. There may be other cars backing out or dangerous parking lot supplies on your left or right. You should only pull through if there are two clear nose-to-nose spaces. While pulling out, the head should come out first since it enables you to scan the surrounding area before you back out.
Secure Your Vehicle
This may seem obvious, but statistics from the National Highway Safety Administration indicate that more than 50% of car thefts happen due to the carelessness of the drivers in the parking lot. Don’t leave the doors of your car open or the keys in the ignition or your car seat.
Before you leave the parking lot, ensure that all the doors and windows of your car are locked. Place all valuable items such as electronics or holiday gifts out of sight, preferably in the trunk.
Always Leave and Walk Back Safely
Avoid darting between the cars when leaving or returning to your vehicle. Always listen to any car sounds and look out for any illuminated brake lights of cars signaling a backup. Remember that once you are out of your car you become a pedestrian and you need to protect yourself. Avoid disobeying posted signs in the parking lot and pay close attention to your surroundings.
Always Stay Alert and Mind Your Manners
You should be on the lookout for cars that may be speeding across the parking lot or those that may be pulling off without indicating. Always obey the turn signal and avoid two-way lanes. You should also avoid taking up two parking spots by parking over the lines.