Driving in Parking Areas – SAFELY
Parking lots and Garage structures are riskier than you think. These intense driving environments require both drivers
and pedestrians to pay close attention. Consider this: Visibility in parking lots is naturally limited due to parked cars,
posts & poles, moving vehicles and pedestrians. Add to the mix impatient drivers and distracted drivers, and you can
understand why 29% of VSC at-fault accidents occur in parking areas!
In a National Safety Council poll of drivers, 66% admit to making Phone Calls, 63% program their GPS, 52% view Social
Media and 42% Video Chat when operating a vehicle in parking lots. Drivers also admitted to adjusting the seat, radio,
mirrors and air temperature, while others eat & drink, fix their hair, apply make-up or look through bags of retail
purchases made in stores and restaurants that share the parking lot. There is a misconception that it is safe to “multitask”
because you drive at lower speeds in a parking lot! In reality, a parking area is the worst place to drive distracted!
To avoid driving or backing into another vehicle, pedestrian, or fixed object, all VSC drivers need to practice these
behaviors when navigating through parking areas:
- Conduct a 360-degree walk-around before backing, keeping an eye out for low-lying objects.
- Turn off your phone before starting your vehicle.
- Put on your seat belt.
- Adjust vehicle controls (mirrors, seats, air temperature, etc.) before driving the vehicle.
- Pre-set your navigation system and playlists before driving the vehicle.
- Look over your shoulder and use your mirrors as you back up. Do not rely on technology.
- Stay in lanes and avoid cutting across parking spaces.
- Drive slowly and use turn signals.
- Anticipate the actions of other drivers.
- Obey stop signs, no-parking signs & directional arrows – Do not drive down a lane against the arrow!
- When parking, if safe to do so, pull through on arrival to avoid backing out when you leave.
- Remember – Pedestrians have the right of way – even when they are not paying attention!
- Be a courteous and patient driver.