Driving can be a rather unusual skill. When you’re still learning, it seems so complicated, and your mind tries to process every detail. Yet after a while, driving becomes so effortless and routine that we sometimes don’t pay enough attention to the current situation. This can be a significant concern when it comes to parking under certain conditions, which can affect safety; here are some reminders to help you out.
In outdoor parking spaces, especially on a hot day, the areas shaded by trees are usually the first to get filled. But when the forecast warns of potential bad weather later in the day, parking under a tree is often a bad idea, even if you won’t be long. Trees fail to provide adequate protection from hail and other flying or falling debris during a storm, and in fact, loose branches crashing onto your car could just as likely have you needing auto repair for hail damages and more.
In bad weather, finding covered parking should be your priority. Local malls may have parking garages where you can wait out a storm. If you can’t find shelter, pulling a car cover or blanket over your car will afford a degree of protection.
Parking on an incline
The average driver usually tends to avoid parking on an incline, as this can prove to be an unwanted test of both your driving skills and the condition of your handbrake. Still, there may be occasions when you have little alternative but to attempt it. In such cases, it’s crucial to know that your handbrake will hold the weight of the car; otherwise, you must find level parking and have that worn handbrake serviced.
Once you’ve managed to park successfully, remember to turn your wheels away from the curb if uphill and towards the curb when facing downhill; this way, even if your vehicle moves, it will be away from traffic.
Crowded parking spaces
A crowded parking lot doesn’t just pose a challenge of finding that precious empty space; there can also be an increased likelihood of having your visibility cut off or limited by surrounding vehicles. Next to large or elevated vehicles, such as vans or SUVs, your obstructed view could lead to accidents if pedestrians, especially small children, suddenly move across your path as you’re backing out. This is the perfect time to hone your reverse parking skills. Once you’ve secured your slot, having the car facing front as you exit will give you a better field of view, improved maneuverability and control, despite surrounding obstructions.
Parking after dark
When you’re driving at night, visibility is of utmost importance. Not only does this extend to parking after dark, but it also warrants consideration when you park during the daytime but expect to be back later in the evening. Choose a parking spot that will be well-lit come nighttime. Not only does this improve visibility, but it also lowers the risk of theft or other untoward incidents. Be mindful of the direction you’re facing when parallel parking on the street. When you’re aligned with the flow of traffic, your tail lights will reflect the light from incoming vehicles, lessening the chance of a collision.
Even if driving has become second nature to you, don’t fall into the trap of losing awareness of your parking situation. In these conditions, the above safety tips can save you from dangerous events.