Safe Parking Tips Everyone Should Be Aware About
- Always signal before pulling into a space: This will let other drivers know your intentions, and will prevent accidents with others who may want that same parking space.
- Know the size of your vehicle: Make sure that the front or rear of the car is not jutting across the line for the parking space.
- Find out about snow removal: Living in Ontario, you know you are going to face parking in snow sooner or later. Make sure that you pay attention to snow removal announcements, so your car isn’t towed for being parked on the wrong side of the road.
- Get a parking pass: It can often be extremely difficult to find parking spaces, especially in larger cities. But, there are usually plenty of parking lots and garages where you can pay to park. You can save a lot of money, and always have a parking space, if you get yourself a parking pass.
- Check the height restriction: If you drive a truck and want to enter a parking garage, make sure that the ceiling is high enough to accommodate your truck.
- Know where you can park: Wherever you live, it is a good idea to learn about where you can and cannot park your vehicle. This could end up saving you a lot of money. If you don’t pay attention, you may end up parking where you are not supposed to, and your vehicle may be towed.
Parking for Your Own Personal safety
When it comes to parking, you don’t just have to worry about your car getting dinged. Statistics show that many people are attacked just getting into their parked cars, often because they did not follow some simple precautions before parking. Here are some tips to keep you safe, no matter where you park:
- Always park in a well-lit area: Many kidnappings and robberies have occurred when someone is getting into their car in an area that is not well lit. Whether you are a man or a woman, it is a good idea to always park in an area where there is lots of lighting, or at least a street light or two. If you do have to park in an unlit area, find someone, such as a security guard or a police officer, to accompany you to your car and make sure that you leave the area safely. You may feel like you are being paranoid, but it is a lot better to do this and be safe rather than risk being attacked in the dark near your car.
- Use your remote: If you are going to your vehicle, and the area you parked in is dark and lonely, instead of waiting until you get to your car to get the doors open and the engine started, use your remote starter. This will do a few things for you. It will provide light so you can see your way to the vehicle, and if there is someone waiting, it may just be the thing to scare them off and you avoid being attacked. Remember to have your keys in your hand at all times, too, because if someone does try to attack you as you are getting into your car, they can make a really great weapon.
- Try to park in safe neighbourhoods: You may just be asking for trouble if you park your vehicle in areas that are not considered safe, especially if you park your vehicle there overnight. There are so many things that could happen, from having your vehicle stolen to arson and more, and it may not even be safe for you to walk to your vehicle. Instead, find a place that is near your home, and well lit.
- Park as near the stores as possible: The further away from a building you park, the more you are taking a risk of something happening to you or your car. Unless it is a holiday season when all of the far spaces are filled, too, chances are that these spaces are going to be empty. This means that when you come out to get back in your car, you will probably be all alone. If you have an armload of packages, you may or may not be able to defend yourself in case of an attack. Even if you have to drive around the mall a few times, try to find the closest space possible, especially if you are there at night. If you are using a parking garage, if at all possible, try to park close to the security area or the doors.
- Look inside the car before getting in: There is an old urban legend about a woman who drove for miles not knowing that she had a killer hiding in the back seat of her car. Okay, this is an urban legend, but things like this can happen, so it is really a good idea if you just take a look inside the windows before actually getting inside your vehicle to make sure that there is no one inside. If you see something unusual, don’t even open the door. Scream as loud as you can and start running away.
- Always have your cell phone: When you park in a dark area and are walking to your vehicle, have your cell phone out and ready to go. You may have to call 911 quickly if you see someone lurking near your car. Then, you should start running as fast as you can, preferably back to the store or the nearest place that is open and safe.
You can do a lot more to insure your safety, and the safety of your vehicle, when you are using common sense while parking your vehicle.
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Find-a-driving-school.ca. He has been writing for beginner Canadian drivers for several years.
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