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Parking LotParking lot safety

by Charles Ofria

Did you know that one of the likeliest places to be involved in a fender bender is in aparking lot?

People seem to suspend their good judgment when looking for a parking space. Somepeople consider the traffic signs such as Stop and Yield as optional in parking lotsbecause they are on private property and not subject to a ticket, while others ignore thetraffic lanes to cut diagonally across the lot.

In a parking lot, people have their minds on everything but driving. For instance, adriver spots someone with keys in hand approaching her car and their first reaction is todart forward to be the first to claim the spot, oblivious to the car trying to back out ofa space between two vans and... well, you get the idea.

Pedestrians are equally at risk as most parking lots do not have provisions for themwhich means that they must walk in the traffic lanes, often with small children in tow.

Post office parking lots usually have the highest incidence of accidents. This isbecause they have the quickest turnover with cars parked often for less than 5 minutes.

The best way to protect yourself is to be aware of everything moving for 360 degreesaround your car. Watch for cars that might be cutting diagonally across the lot and aboveall, drive slowly. If you find a space away from the building where fewer cars are parked,you may have several advantages:

  • The doors on your car will be exposed to fewer parking lot dings.
  • A car out in the open, not hidden between other vehicles, is less likely to be vandalized.
  • You'll find a spot faster which will make up for the time it takes to walk to the store.
  • The extended walk will do you good.

But there are also some cautions:

  • Avoid parking in secluded areas, especially at night.
  • Be sure the area you park in is well lit.
  • Always check your back seat before getting into your car.

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