Parking lots may seem docile on a normal day, but during holidays, sales and other shopping rushes, they provide a ripe arena for fender benders and door dings. Taking the time to use caution and drive defensively can be frustrating if you’re in a hurry, but not nearly as frustrating as backing into a car would be. Use the following safety tips to avoid parking lot fender benders:
- Before backing out, turn your body to check behind you. Your mirrors won’t give you every single line of sight, while turning around gives you the bigger picture of any obstacles that may be behind your car. Check for other cars, pedestrians and stray shopping carts.
- Always drive slowly in parking lots. You need to be on full alert for cars cutting across lanes or backing out, children running around, stop signs and oncoming traffic. If any of these situations suddenly arise, driving at a slow speed will give you an upper hand when you need to stop quickly.
- Park farther away from the door in order to avoid other cars. It’s easy for someone to open their car door too wide and accidentally ding your car. Your car is safer away from the crowd. However, in the dark you should park wherever you feel most comfortable, such as under a light.
- If you have no choice but to park near other cars, do your best to park in the center of your spot. This will leave plenty of room on either side of you to reduce your risk of coming back to door dings, dents and scratches.
- And most importantly, be patient! Most people dislike large crowds and busy parking lots, but if everyone gave in to their frustration, there would be fender benders all over the lot. Take a breath and remember that safety comes first.
If you are involved in a fender bender, report it to the police, exchange information with the other driver and file a claim with your insurance agent. If you hit a parked car with no driver, secure a note with your information to the windshield so you two can sort it out later.
Protect your car from accidents, big and small. Call Salzberg Insurance Agency at (757) 583-1828 for a Virginia car insurance quote.