Eight Parking Lot Etiquette Tips You Should Follow
Parking lots can sometimes be described as concrete jungles. The mess of cars and people are reminiscent to wild animals in a stampede to get wherever they’re going. In the midst of chaos comes inattentive and carefree acts that cause a frenzy of emotions all while you just want to park your car and get on with your day. Below you’ll find eight parking lot etiquette tips that will help you get in and out scratch-free with some leftover sanity.
There’s nothing more annoying than someone who doesn’t use their turn signal, in any case. You’re driving down the road and the vehicle in front of you suddenly starts to slow down for no apparent reason to then take a right turn. The same annoying habits happen in parking lots all the time. It can get quite crowded and there are a lot of things for a driver to look out for. Use your blinker if you’re turning in a specific direction or waiting for a parking spot. Communication is key and your blinker is the way to go.
If we had a nickel for every time we saw a crooked parked car in a parking lot, we’d have enough money to create an invention that automatically parks your car straight for you. This is the number one rule of parking anywhere, whether on the street, in a garage and especially in parking lots. Not only does parking unevenly take up more unnecessary space, you’re also putting your vehicle at risk of getting dinged by the other guy beside you. Park straight, always.
Parking spaces are designed to fit pretty much every type of vehicle. Whether it’s a truck, car or van, fully pull into your parking space so there’s more room for passing vehicles and pedestrians to get by. But be aware of how far you’re pulling into the space. If you have a smaller vehicle you can easily become invisible to an eager driver who’s looking for a parking spot.
Plenty of drivers have been in the situation where they finally find a spot after circling around for a good 2-3 minutes and they try to squeeze in, but it ends up being a spot only a Smart Car could manage. Our best advice is to not try and force your Honda Civic into the sardine can. Chances are there’s a bigger and better spot for you a few feet away so take the safer option and find somewhere else to park.
Though a police officer is unlikely to pull you over for speeding in a parking lot, there are traffic signs and speed limits posted for a reason. Between cars, pedestrians and other objects like curbs and shopping carts, you don’t want to put your safety or that of others at risk. Don’t be one of those jerks that blows through stop signs and drives like maniac. Slow it down and pay attention.
It’s happened to the best of us. It’s pouring rain so you decide to leave your shopping cart in the vacant spot next to you and drive away. What you didn’t see was the car after you turn into the spot, slam on his brakes and probably mumble a couple profanities. Take the extra 30 seconds to put your cart away properly so other drivers can park hassle-free. Not only does it keep the parking lot organized, it eliminates the chances of the carts blowing away in the wind and possible hitting another driver’s vehicle. Same goes for your fast food garbage, throw it away in the trash or wait until you get home.
Parking lots are full of all sorts of people. Sometimes there are busy parents juggling their shopping cart and excited children or a distracted texter staring down at their phone instead of the road ahead. As a driver, it’s your job to be aware of what’s going on around you, however, you should also be a mindful pedestrian. Don’t walk in the middle of the roadway with your cart, stay to the side so traffic can flow freely. Also pay attention to what is going on around you in case there are distracted drivers.
Either you’ve done it yourself or you’ve been a victim of the parking lot stalker. The person that catches you leaving the store, follows you in their vehicle to your parking spot, watches you load your shopping bags into your car and waits for you to pull out – pretty creepy once you put it that way don’t you think? Though it can be tough to find a spot during busy times it’s still not an excuse to follow someone back to their car. Not only are you probably making them feel uncomfortable, they most likely also feel rushed and may not be mindful of what they’re doing while backing out or driving away.