• Parking areas are accident hot spots.
• MasterDrive lists several tips drivers can use to avoid being an accident victim.
• Drivers are encouraged to park where they feel safe.
• For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za
Parking lots are one of the busiest places for drivers to contend with. From people walking behind the cars to trolleys abandoned in the middle of the road, drivers need an extra set of eyes to avoid all the obstacles. In fact, according to the US's Automotive Fleet's Annual Accident Management survey, 46% of vehicles were damaged when at least one of the vehicles was parked.
As people return from time off and reduced time behind the wheel, a parking lot can be an over-stimulus to the senses. There are some tips drivers can follow to avoid costly bumper bashings. It is important to know the most common parking lot crashes, to be on your guard, and avoid being involved in one of these.
The most common crashes in a parking lot include two drivers reversing out at the same time and colliding, driving forward or reversing out of a parking space and colliding with passing traffic, or drivers colliding with each other when driving towards the same parking spot. Rear-end accidents often occur when one vehicle is stationary at a stop sign or waiting for parking.
There are a number of tips to keep in mind to navigate into and out of a parking space safely:
• Select a pull-through parking where you can clearly see any obstacles when leaving.
• If you cannot find a pull-through parking, reverse park so that you still have the extra visibility this provides when you leave.
• Before moving out of the spot, look out for pedestrians who may not be paying attention and be ready to respond to an unexpected pedestrian at a second's notice.
• Pay extra attention to children who are more challenging to see and not as car-savvy as adults.
• Do not neglect to stop at marked stop signs or fail to use your indicators so that motorists are aware of your intentions.
• Be cautious of other drivers who may be driving recklessly like speeding through empty spots, skipping stop signs or being impatient with other drivers.
• Be selective when choosing a spot. If neighbouring vehicles are parked on the line, choose a different spot.
• Ensure your mirrors are in the correct position to increase your range of vision when moving out of a space.
• If you live in an area that experiences strong wind, be cautious of doors swinging open with force or of trolleys rolling across the parking lot.
• Avoid shopping during peak times (this has the added benefit of helping you to socially distance).
Eugene Herbert is the managing director of MasterDrive.