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How to Avoid Getting into an Accident in the Parking Lot

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Parking lots can be a dangerous place when driving a vehicle. If you find that your eyesight or hearing are not quite what they used to be, it can be particularly tricky to navigate your care safely in such a busy area with so many hazards around. According to the National Safety Council, tens of thousands of car accidents occur in parking lots each year. During the holidays, these numbers spike as shoppers fill stores looking for gifts. Stay safe in the parking lot and avoid getting into a car accident with these tips.

Drive slowly

Many parking lots have speed signs posted in order to encourage drivers to drive slowly. When a parking lot doesn’t have a sign posted, experts say that you should drive no faster than 15 miles per hour. Driving slowly increases the chance of other drivers seeing you as they back up out of a space or pull into a parking space. Slower speeds also give you time to react if a pedestrian walks out from behind a car or another vehicle cuts across an empty row and right in front of you.

Be aware of pedestrians

Though pedestrians have the responsibility to watch out for vehicles and should only cross a parking lot when it’s safe to do so, it’s important to keep an eye out for pedestrians. Look out for and obey all crosswalks that may be in the parking lot. In areas where there is a lot of foot traffic, removing your foot from the accelerator and lightly covering the brakes can help you stop at a moment’s notice. Personal injury attorney services also recommend watching out for young children in the parking lot. Young children may break away from a parent’s hand and dart between the cars; being aware of them could prevent a serious injury from occurring.

Take care on windy days

If it’s a windy day where you live, take extra care when parking in a parking lot. Strong winds can cause a stray grocery bag to fly onto your windshield and temporarily block your vision, can cause stray carts to roll into your car or can cause your door to fly open wider than expected, dinging the car next to you.

Park far away from other vehicles

Scratches and dings are common in a parking lot as carts and other vehicle’s doors may hit your own. Parking far away in the lot from other vehicles can help keep your paint job perfect. It can be tempting to try the “take two spaces” trick, but this move is inconsiderate. Walking a little farther to the store or office is worth keeping your vehicle looking good. If you need a spot with closer access to the store because of health conditions, receiving a permit for accessible parking will be a win-win, allowing you a shorter distance to the store and more space away from other cars.

Preventing an accident from occurring in the parking lot means driving slowly, being diligent and taking extra care. By doing so, you will be able to keep your vehicle looking nice and avoid injuring others as you drive.

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