While parking lots may not be the most hazardous places to drive, they can be the most unpredictable. Parking lots can be as open as the plains of the Midwest or as bumper-to-bumper as a city street during rush hour. Drivers seem to suspend their good judgment when looking for a parking space. Some consider the Stop and Yield signs as optional because parking lots are on private property and not subject to traffic laws; others ignore the traffic lanes to cut diagonally across the lot.
Although they may not be the most hazardous places to drive, parking lots can be more unpredictable than anywhere else you travel. So it’s not surprising that parking lots are the site of frequent accidents. Although most mishaps cause fender benders or minor dings, if collisions occur at higher speeds or involve small children, more serious consequences may ensue.
To help keep you and others safe while driving in parking lots, here are some tips for you and other family members (especially any teen drivers):
- Be aware: Don’t distract yourself as you enter or exit the parking space. Don’t be on your cell phone. Make sure that all bags and packages are secure, children are in car seats, seat belts are on, and that lights or windshield wipers are operating before you shift into gear.
- Back out gradually: Give oncoming drivers enough time to see you. If possible, pull into a space so that you can exit moving forward or park in areas with fewer cars.
- Drive slowly: Give yourself plenty of time to react to any possible hazard. Check your rearview mirrors constantly, as a car could be coming from any direction at any time.
- Look out for children: They could suddenly run in front of you from behind a row of parked vehicles.
- Give pedestrians in crosswalks the right of way: It’s not just a courtesy, it’s the law.
Liberty Mutual offers quality auto coverage and 24-Hour Claims Assistance to help you get your life back on track as quickly as possible if you are in a car accident. As an AIA member, you are also eligible to receive exclusive group savings. For more information and to get a free, no-obligation quote, call 1-800-281-1329, or visit the AIA Trust website.
Discounts and savings available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten; not all applicants may qualify. Coverage underwritten and provided by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and its affiliates, 175 Berkeley Street, Boston, MA 02116. ©2012 Liberty Mutual Group. All rights reserved.