Tips to drive safely in parking lots

car parking in a huge parking lot

Although it might seem like second nature, driving in a parking lot is a lot more dangerous than you might think. According to the National Safety Council, there are more than 60,000 accidents in parking lots every year with over 500 of them resulting in fatalities. With those numbers in mind, here are some simple ways you can stay safe.

Take it Slow

This might seem like a no-brainer, but we’ve all seen people that drive like lightning in a parking lot. There’s simply no need to drive 30mph through parked cars and pedestrians. Slowing down is the easiest way to ensure your safety in a parking lot. When in doubt, it’s best to keep the odometer between 5 to 10 miles per hour, making it easier to hit the brakes should the unexpected occur.

The Rules Still Apply

Even though it’s easy to forget, the rules of the road still apply in a parking lot. Stay alert, keep your eyes peeled, and follow the pavement markings. Although it’s tempting to cut through a lane to save time, following the traffic pattern is an easy way to avoid hitting pedestrians or moving cars. Plenty of people rely on a Bay Area car accident attorney for collisions right inside of parking lots every year. 

Keep Distractions to a Minimum

The same rules apply in a parking lot as they do on the open road, which includes distracted driving laws. Never use a cell phone while driving, period. That includes texting while behind the wheel. Even if it seems safe enough to multitask, it only takes a second for things to go wrong. Don’t risk claiming a life or paying for property damage for a text you could have answered after you parked. 

Use Extra Caution When Backing Out

We’ve all experienced a time when we thought the coast was clear to back out of a parking space and a vehicle or person comes out of nowhere. These close calls can be avoided if you take the time to look around carefully before making your move. Always stay alert, use back up cameras if possible, and pull forward instead of backing up when possible.

Be Patient

There is nothing more annoying than being cut off by another driver in a parking lot. Sometimes, people will walk right out in front of you and then shoot you a dirty look as if it’s your fault. People might hit your car with their shopping cart or even their car. It’s all very frustrating. However, remaining calm and cool can help you avoid hitting another car or pedestrian.

The same is true when you’re in a rush. Obligations and life’s duties call, but you’re only going to put yourself further behind schedule if you have to trade insurance information after an accident. Be patient, take your time, and you’ll get to where you’re going safely while ensuring the safety of those around you, too.