Recent studies have uncovered a somewhat unnerving fact – as much as 66% of drivers admit to being on phone calls while driving through a parking lot! Being distracted not only poses a danger to the driver and passengers but pedestrians too. Then there’s the issue of car break-ins in under-lit or poorly maintained parking garages across the country. Here are five tips that should help ensure parking lot safety for your car:
1. Pick a well-lit lot
If you’re going to be parking your car at a garage overnight or an offsite airport parking lot for weeks, make sure you find a well-lit garage. A well-lit garage deters criminals from trying to break into your car or vandalize it.
Good lighting can also help make it easier to spot hazards around your car. You could use various parking apps and websites to browse through your options, compare rates, and even swipe through a gallery of images to check if the parking garage meets your expectations.
Most onsite and offsite parking garages listed on our app provide round-the-clock surveillance and gated entries with security personnel.
2. Always lock your car
Yes, this tip is quite apparent, but, surprisingly, many drivers fail to do so after they park their car. Locking your car is the easiest way to prevent theft no matter where you park – on the street or at a parking garage. Always ensure to roll your windows up and remember to take the keys with you when you disembark.
You could also reduce the chances of a break-in by hiding your valuables from plain sight. Store them in the trunk of your car or a lockable glovebox inside the cabin. If you have larger articles that can only be stored in the cabin, we’d recommend covering them up with a dark cloth or a blanket.
It is also advisable to lock the doors after you get in your car, as this could dissuade car thieves from trying to break in while you make a call or set up your navigation before you take off.
3. Stay off your phone and other gadgets
Staying away from gadgets while driving may seem like a relatively simple task, but the fact is that modern society has us hooked to our phone screens and social media. While we understand the importance of staying connected with your loved ones, it is imperative that one stay away from all kinds of distractions while driving or parking.
Nearly 9% of all deaths in parking garages arise from the driver being distracted while backing out of a slot. We would also recommend not using headphones or earphones while you approach your car and even while driving off. It prevents the chances of you being attacked by car thieves. It helps you stay alert and hear if there are pedestrians around while driving away from the garage.
Pro Tip: Setting your navigation system to your next destination or picking your favorite songs before you get on the road can significantly reduce the chances of being distracted while driving.
4. Follow protocols to the T
If you’re parking at the mall or a parking lot, ensure you follow all the safety protocols, such as staying in your lane, parking within the lines, and looking both ways before setting out. Almost all malls and parking garages have stop signs, yield signs, and directional arrows to make the traffic flow smoother. So, follow them!
The aisles of most parking lots in the country have lines drawn on the ground to guide you to parking spaces. Avoid cutting them to shorten your drive as it could prevent other drivers from exiting their parking spot and even block pedestrian passages. Staying in designated lanes reduces the chances of a collision and keeps everyone at the parking garage safe. Finally, look both ways before driving out of a spot, just like you would while crossing the road as a pedestrian.
5. Reverse into your spot
Reversing into a parking spot has many advantages, the most notable of which is it reduces your blind spots significantly. If you’ve found yourself backing out of a spot, you’d probably agree that it makes spotting pedestrians and other cars quite tricky. Instead, reversing into the spot lets you drive forward when it’s time to leave.
However, some may find it an impossible task. Still, practice makes perfect, and following this simple step alone can significantly reduce the chance of a mishap in the parking lot. And with lesser blind spots to deal with, it makes spotting hazards on your path a lot easier to spot.
Speaking of hazards, here’s another helpful tip – walk around your car before taking off. If you aren’t crunched for time, this simple step will help you check for debris on your path and ensure all the doors and latches are closed before setting off.
We hope you find these parking lot safety tips helpful and follow them to keep yourself and other road users safe!