Parking lot accidents are widespread in the United States. One in five motor vehicle accidents occurs in parking lots. There are many distractions involved when driving in a parking lot and many drivers take for granted that even though they are driving slowly, there are still safety risks.
Set Your Side Mirrors Correctly
Your side mirrors are something that can significantly impact how you see vehicles or people driving behind you. Before starting your car, double-check that the mirrors have not moved. By doing so, you will reduce your risk of a car accident substantially.
Many car accidents in parking lots happen just because the driver is rushing. If you are running late, be sure to drive slowly and carefully. If you make this simple change, it will enable you to avoid opportunities for car accidents in parking lots.
Look Out for Stray Shopping Carts
Some car accidents do not necessarily involve hitting other people or cars. If you are at a large big-box retailer's parking lot, there is a possibility of hitting a stray shopping cart that has not been put away. When you are walking to your car, try to put away any carts near your vehicle. This way, you will be able to avoid scratches.
Try to Find Pull-Through Spaces
At times, it is possible to find a parking space where you can pull straight through. If you can do this, it is much easier to leave the parking space when you have finished shopping.
How Far Away Do You Have to Park From Another Car
Ideally, it is best to park where you are not surrounded by any other cars. Even if you have to walk a little bit further, it is worth reducing your risk of having a car park too close to you and getting into an accident.
Take Advantage of the Recent Innovations in Technology
There are now many ways to make your parking experience easier. One of the best technology tools to use is to have a camera where you can see behind your car. If you follow the camera, it will help you know whether you are close to hitting a car or a person passing by. There are also radar and ultrasonic systems that beep when you are getting close to an object. These driver assistance systems will also help you be sure that you are not going to hit anything. Vehicle cross-traffic alert systems enable sensors to make the vehicle brake when another vehicle is approaching. A more recent innovation is a parking assist system where the vehicle will entirely park itself. All of these tools are designed to make parking lots safer and accident-free.
Make Eye Contact with Pedestrians When Driving
There are many misunderstandings that happen between pedestrians and drivers. As a driver, it is best to have a hand signal to pedestrians when you are in a parking lot that lets them know they can pass. If you do that, it helps avoid misunderstands and can prevent additional accidents.
Backing Out of a Parking Space
Parents that are driving in parking lots with children can have issues with safety because they are distracted. Try to have your kids be quiet until you have backed out safely and provide them an incentive. Once you try this, it will help you drive responsibly in the parking lot.
Talking on the Phone or Texting and Driving
Many car accidents are caused in parking lots from texting or talking on the phone. Even if you talk on the phone from a speakerphone, it is difficult for you to fully focus on driving. Try to make your phone calls and texts before you start driving in a parking lot to avoid unnecessary accidents.
Follow Speed Bump Regulations
If you drive too quickly over speed bumps, it can cause you to lose control of your breaks for a moment. At that moment, you may hit a pedestrian or another car.
Before You Make a Turn, Use Your Turn Signals
Many people think they are not required to use turn signals when they are in a parking lot. Using turn signals helps clarify confusion from both other vehicles and pedestrians. Be sure to use your turn signal when you are turning to avoid accidents in parking lots.
Parallel Parking Tips
Some parking lots have the option to parallel park. If you are not skilled at parallel parking, it is wise to try to find an alternative parking place. Many people struggle with parallel parking and also struggle with exiting the space once they are leaving. Parallel parking can cause many different accidents in parking lots.
Know Your Blind Spots
Some drivers have difficulty with blind spots. It can be helpful to have awareness of your blind spots and try to use technology, caution, and additional mirrors to make sure you can avoid blind spots. Another method is to turn around briefly to know what is behind you and on the side of your vehicle when you are reversing.
Don't Try to Take a Parking Space from Another Driver
Sometimes, two cars are fighting for the last parking space. This situation can be difficult for drivers that are in a rush and really want that parking space. Many parking lot accidents can be caused by trying to beat another car to the last parking space. Try to avoid this scenario and allow the other vehicle to go first by signaling them with a hand signal. Then, you will find another parking space and have no car repairs to deal with in the coming days.
When driving in a parking lot, be sure to be extra careful. Many drivers believe that parking lots are an easier place to drive, and this is why there are so many accidents there. By exercising caution, it is possible to reduce the number of accidents in parking lots dramatically.
As an extra tip, remember to test drive your car from time to time to avoid technical issues while driving or parking.