Parking lots can be dangerous places due to the overlap of moving pedestrians and vehicles. Here are just a few tips to ensure you remain safe, as a driver and a pedestrian, when using parking lots.
1. Observe signs and markings
These can include crosswalks, stop and yield signs, and handicapped spaces. Not observing these signs and markings can result in collision with a pedestrian or another car. This goes for pedestrians as well, who should be aware of a driver’s rights as well as their own.
2. Return carts, dollies, and baskets to designated areas
Doing so will prevent carts from rolling aimlessly through the parking lot, damaging cars, creating obstructions, or causing other drivers to swerve, which may cause an accident.
3. Keep children under control
This will protect them from inattentive drivers and protect drivers from swerving into objects to avoid them.
4. Park only in designated spaces
Parking along the curb (with exception to loading zones), in fire lanes, or in non-parking areas is a hazard. These areas are not marked as parking spots for good reason.
5. Use your turn signal
Not alerting drivers or pedestrians to a change in direction can result in injured pedestrians or accidents.
6. Watch for drivers exiting parking spots
This is a good rule for both pedestrians and drivers. It isn’t always easy for drivers to see in all directions depending on the arrangement of their own car and interference created by cars around them. Take it slow when moving up and down lot aisles, stay alert for backup lights (and for cars pulling forward out of spots), and stop to allow cars to pull out of their spot.