According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, approximately 20 per cent of car accidents take place in parking lots. Parking lots are small cramped spaces, with a mixture of carts, people and other cars. Thus making the perfect recipe for an accident. You can lessen your chance of having a accident by following this tips.
Although it might seem like common sense, many drivers could avoid parking lot collisions simply by slowing down. When navigating a parking lot, slow down to a school-zone speed (30 km/h to 40 km/h) so you have ample time to react safely to any unexpected cars, pedestrians or shopping carts that cross your path.
Although you’re in a parking lot and not on the road, you should still follow the rules of the road – including staying in your designated right-side lane. Avoid cutting across parking spots to cross the lot and get where you’re going. Avoid driving over parking spots, even if they’re empty, and act as if they were filled with cars.
It should go without saying that you should avoid distracted driving in all behind-the-wheel situations, including when in a parking lot. And that means staying off your phone until you’re safely parked – you can check that shopping list as soon as you park. And now, distracted drivers in Ontario face even stiffer penalties: from January 2019 onwards, drivers who talk, text, dial or email on their handheld devices can be served with a three-day license suspension, a fine up to $1,000 and three demerit points.
Prepare for extra pedestrians in your vicinity, since parking lots are full of people going to and from their cars, and it’s your responsibility as a driver to look out for them. Obey all crosswalks in the parking lot, and keep an eye out for pedestrians lugging heavy shopping carts and ushering energetic children.
If possible, park your car away from other vehicles. It might mean a slightly longer walk to your destination, but that’s a small price to pay for safety. Besides, walking is good for your health!