Avoiding Parking Lot Accidents 3

Part 3.


Use common sense in the car park.


Put on your seat belt BEFORE pulling out, not while driving. Drivers often think they are “safe” in parking lots, so they delay putting on seat belts. Or they leave it off so they can look around and crane their neck better.


That’s a mistake for two reasons. You could get into an accident with no seat belt on before you leave the parking lot. Plus, fumbling with a seat belt while you are driving makes it more likely that you will have an accident. Be vigilant at all times.


Also, complete any cell-phone calls, put on your sunglasses if you need them, adjust your CD player or radio,  and enter data into your navigation system BEFORE you pull out of your parking spot. I know we live in a multitasking world, but your only job behind the wheel should be to drive the car safely and responsible.  No call or song is worth a life, yours or anyone elses.


In a busy car park, do NOT trust your mirrors. Things can change in a split second.  Rearview mirrors do not provide a full picture of what’s happening behind your car.


Today’s high-tech backup sensors and rear-mounted cameras do not spot all obstacles, either. To back out of a parking spot safely, rotate your body to the right, looking over your shoulder so that you face backward, leaving your left hand on the wheel.


In fact, when deciding to park, not only take a place in a less busy area of the car park, look for two empty parking spaces, one behind the other, and pull through to the one in front so that you do not have to back up when it is time to pull out. Just make sure

nobody is pulling into the front spot from the other end.


Avoid danger zones where you will have obstructed vision, near lights, shopping trolley parks and next to big vans or SUVs if

you are in a smaller vehicle. You will have a hard time

seeing past these objects or vehicles when it is time to pull out.


Also, try to avoid the spots next to cart-collection areas —

the odds of dings and dents and distractions are greatest here.


Turn on your headlights, even in daylight. Headlights warn pedestrians and other drivers that your vehicle will soon pull out.


Don’t feel hurried by other drivers. Hurrying leads to accidents. The driver eager to have your space can wait a few more seconds as you take the time to pull out carefully.


Again, look around on all sides for other cars and pedestrians.  If they are too close up your tail, signal with your hand for them to push back.]]></