Many outdoor parking lots get taken over by condominium developments and retail complexes, leaving drivers no choice but to park in the underground garage, where driving lanes and parking spaces are tight. Some drivers turn these corners at high speeds and blindly back out of the compact spots.
Taking the proper precautions in underground parking can ensure you avoid dings, scrapes, and injuries that could otherwise increase your car insurance premium.
How to drive safely in an underground parking lot
Not everyone will drive safely in a parking garage, but you can be prepared by staying alert and putting away any distractions. Here are six ways to drive safely in an underground parking lot.
1. Slow down
Reducing your speed in an underground parking lot can prevent a series of accidents. By slowing down, you can stop more easily for pedestrians and cars backing out or coming around the corner and avoid hitting parked vehicles.
2. Use the safety mirrors
Use the circular mirrors, which are usually positioned on the parking garage wall, to see if other cars are coming around the corner. Some drivers will even honk to make their presence known.
3. Reverse into your parking spot
Reversing into your parking spot will give you the best visibility when driving out of your parking space later on. Backing in may not be the most convenient or quickest option when you arrive at your destination, but it makes for a safer exit.
4. Be patient
Backing into a parking space takes some practice and a little time. Some drivers may feel the urge to drive past a car that is partway through parking. That car will likely have to readjust. So, just wait. Waiting can prevent a collision and won’t add pressure to the other driver.
5. Remember that the rules still apply
The rules of the road still apply in a parking lot, whether it’s above ground or below. Stay on the right side of the “road,” obey posted signs, and use your turn signals.
6. Open your door slowly
The tight parking spaces may make it difficult to get in and out of your car. Hold the door as you’re getting out to avoid dinging another vehicle, and hope they do the same.
Personal safety tips for the parking garage
Parking garages tend to be dark, dingey, and secluded. Asking for someone to walk you safely to your car can be a good idea. As for your belongings and car itself, here are three tips for preventing crime.
1. Find the perfect parking spot
A well-lit parking space may not always be available. Selecting a parking space close to the security cameras or emergency telephone often acts as a deterrent, which can be your next best option. Cars are less likely to be broken into if thieves can be seen or identified.
2. Secure your car
Many new cars offer standard high-tech safety features and theft prevention devices. Some vehicles can lock your car and roll up the windows simultaneously, while others will beep if you leave your keys in the car. However, many drivers still exercise their arm muscles and manually roll up their windows to secure their rides.
Here is a quick safety list to ensure your vehicle is secured:
- Turn off your car. The Canadian winter is cold, and many people leave their keys in the car to warm up their vehicle. Some drivers may even leave their vehicle running to pop into a shop. But leaving the keys in your car is an invitation to criminals.
- Roll up the windows. If you leave your windows down, not only can thieves grab your belongings, but they may also be able to unlock your car and drive away with it.
- Hide your valuables. Place your shopping bags, electronics, purses, and items of value in the glovebox or trunk. Don’t leave clues out, either. Some cars have been broken into because headphones were visible, and thieves assumed they were attached to a big-ticket item. A broken window is worth far more than the effort it takes to put your things away.
- Lock your doors. Whether it’s hitting the key fob twice and waiting to hear the beep or manually clicking all the buttons, making sure your vehicle is locked is the first defence against thieves.
3. Check your back seat and surroundings
Be aware of your surroundings as you walk to your car and listen for oncoming vehicles or strange sounds. Always check inside and around the vehicle before getting in to ensure no one is inside or waiting nearby.
Protect your wallet
The underground parking garage is a prime location for a fail-to-remain traffic violation. If you are the victim of a hit-and-run collision, you will want to ensure you have the right coverage before such an incident occurs. Collision coverage can protect your vehicle from this type of damage.
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