One of every five auto accidents occurs in a parking lot, according to the Independent Insurance Agents Association. That total does not include all of the small nicks and dents that usually go unreported.
Parking lot crashes often occur at low speeds, but they still can lead to expensive repairs and higher insurance premiums. Worse, sometimes pedestrians and drivers are injured.
To minimize your parking lot risks….
Park away from busy areas. Most drivers crowd into spaces closest to the store entrances, leaving other sections of parking lots virtually empty. Your vehicle is much less likely to be bumped or dinged – and you will have better visibility when you pull out.
Look where you are going. Distracted driving is responsible for many parking lot accidents. We think we see an empty spot in the next row and this momentary distraction is all it takes.
Completely clear fogged or snow covered windows and windshields. There is a tendency to rush out of parking lots, but driving with partially blocked windows greatly increases the odds of having a collision.
Do not trust your mirrors. Rearview mirrors do not provide a full picture of what’s happening behind your car. Today’s high tech back up systems do not detect everything either. You need to move your head to see everything going on before backing up.
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.
Avoid danger zones. Skip spots next to big vans or SUVs if you are in a small vehicle – you will have a hard time seeing past these vehicles when it is time to pull out.
Turn on your headlights, even in daylight. Headlights warn pedestrians and other drivers that your vehicle will soon pull out.
These are just a few tips to improve your odds during your next visit to the parking lot!