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Parking Lot Pitfalls

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Running errands, such as grocery stores runs, hair cuts for the kids and picking up the dry cleaning, are so routine that you could almost do them in your sleep. Visiting the same places over and over again can lull you into an almost hypnotic state, but this relaxed attitude can be dangerous. Parking lots are chock-full of other drivers and pedestrians. Read on for some tips on safely navigating parking lots.

What To Watch Out For

1.  As you are getting into your car after your errand, look around and note where other cars are parked, especially those behind you that may be parked further out into the traffic aisle than normal. You may need to cut your wheel a bit more to avoid backing into those vehicles.

2.  Look for people who are getting into their cars, have started their cars or have brake or back-up lights on. Once you are seated in your car, you have an extremely limited field of vision and could miss those cues.

3.  Don't rely solely on backup cameras or your rear-view mirror. To back safely from a spot, you must physically turn and look out your back window. Cars can begin backing quickly and many people drive much too quickly in parking lot aisles, so it never hurts to double-check before putting your car into reverse.

4.  When backing, be prepared to brake quickly if necessary. Cars in the parking lot aisles have the right-of-way, so take it slow when backing out of your space.

5.  Be mindful of pedestrians. Many people are distracted for the same reasons that you might be; they are in a familiar place. They also may be juggling children, shopping carts, digging in their bag for their car keys, etc. Pedestrians always have the right-of-way, but they can be difficult to spot sometimes. Pedestrians are often not paying any attention at all to you, so check to see if they are weaving through parked cars or suddenly change directions.

What To Do If An Accident Occurs

  • If needed, call for medical help.
  • Take some photos of all involved vehicles with emphasis on the damage.
  • Call the police and move the vehicles out of traffic if possible.
  • Exchange information with the other party and call your auto insurance agent as soon as possible.

For more information on staying safe not only in parking lots, but in all driving situations, contact an auto insurance agent such as those at Western Insurance Agency. Staying accident free could mean lower rates, so stay safe, even in familiar areas.