So you just got off work and you have one item to get at the store to finish up diner for the evening. You rush into the store, purchase the item, and back to your vehicle you go. You subconsciously put your vehicle in reverse because your mind is actually thinking about 100 other things. You actually begin rolling backwards before you even look in your mirror and that’s when it happens. One of the more common accidents on the road: the parking lot fender bender.
Parking lot incidents are very common but when the proper precautions are taken the likelihood that you will be involved in one can be dramatically reduced. The following are some tips on how to avoid the dreaded question of, “Why didn’t you see me?!”
The first thing to always consider is pulling into a parking space where you can drive forward instead of having to reverse when leaving a parking lot. When you are backing, you have to watch your rear and side mirrors, turn your head to check every direction, and watch the front of your vehicle to make sure you don’t turn too sharp and hit the car next to you. When you are pulling forward, you look left, right, and straight ahead….if all is clear you proceed.
Now every parking lot is different and it isn’t always possible to pull through a spot so you can leave going forward. If you are required to back up, the following tips can help you do so safely.
The most important is to make sure that everyone is settled in the vehicle and nothing else is in your hand (no phone, grocery bag, coffee, etc.). You are about to perform one of the more difficult things you will do as a driver so your full attention is needed.
Once you make sure that your hands are free and your attention is on the task at hand, you then check your surroundings. Before you begin backing, check all of your mirrors, turn to look behind you to make sure there are no other vehicles backing, and then put your vehicle in reverse. The key is that every few seconds you will want to apply the brakes and repeat the steps above until you have completed the backing process.
Once you are completely out of your spot, come to a complete stop, place the vehicle in drive and proceed forward.
The last point is what to do if you take the above precautions and you are still unfortunate enough to be involved a parking lot accident. First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure everyone is OK. Then try to locate a witness as soon as possible before anyone leaves the scene. If possible, leave the vehicle exactly where the impact occurred and take a picture of the parking space and where your vehicle is located in relation to where you were parked. If you are able to get an actual picture of the two vehicles connected that is even better.
For more on what steps to take after an accident, check out the video above!
I know that I have forgotten to check before backing out of a parking lot before. Fortunately I have never been in an accident. I chalk that one up to luck. I agree that it is really important to pay attention when driving in a parking lot. Especially if it is a parking garage. I feel like there is less space in those and you really need to pay attention when getting in and out because there are often a lot of people coming and going.