With November holiday shopping starting up, parking lots will only get more and more full. And more traffic to shopping centers means more distractions and more hazards in the lots. Don’t let the season of giving give you a headache! Check out these tips to prevent paint and body damage to your vehicle this holiday season.

Choose your spot wisely

If you see space, use it! While it might be tempting to park closer to the building you want to go into, parking further away will often allow you to leave more space between your vehicle and others. For safety reasons, we recommend doing this during daylight and peak hours – where keeping distance will be more important. At night, it can be safer to park a bit closer to the building to prevent break-ins and other crimes.

Be aware of your surroundings

Be sure to check your mirrors and take a look around before leaving your parking spot and never put your car in gear without knowing what’s going on around you. Watch out for pedestrians and reversing vehicles. Whether you are stopped or in motion, never expect other drivers to follow the rules and watch for cars cutting diagonally across the lot.

Be visible

If you are in a garage or driving through a parking lot at night, make sure your headlights are on, not just so you can see better, but so other drivers can see you. If you are outside and it’s close to nightfall, play it safe and keep your lights on in those situations as well. Turning your headlights on a little too early can’t hurt but turning them on too late certainly could. Whether it is day or night, always make sure your brake lights and reverse lights are working.

Back in

If you have the time, space, and ability, backing in is incredibly helpful as it prevents the need to back out. Backing out of a parking space, even when done safely, puts you in a much more vulnerable position than pulling forward.

Slow down

This sounds simple, but when parking space is limited, people often forget. Speeding to get a spot in time for that major sale is not worth putting yourself and others at risk. It will take you much longer to get into the building if you have to exchange insurance information and go through the process of filing an accident report than if you simply remain patient and slow down- even if someone else gets the parking spot you wanted!

Stay off your electronics if your vehicle is in motion

It may be tempting to put your car in gear and get a rolling start before reaching for your phone to punch your next location into your GPS or to send a quick “Quick home soon” text. But doing these things greatly increases your chances of getting into an accident and getting someone seriously hurt. Even if you think you’re traveling a short distance, busy lots limit visibility, and if a pedestrian or vehicle is unable to see you and you are unable to see them while still moving, that is a recipe for disaster. Take care of any business you need to handle on your electronics before putting your vehicle in gear or after you get home.

Prevent break-ins

While this can be difficult to control, your best bet to prevent break-ins is to park in well-lit areas, lock your doors, close your windows completely, and hide your belongings and valuables.

Watch out for common causes of parking lot accidents

Being aware of the most common causes of parking lot accidents will go a long way in preventing them. Be extra careful to avoid these scenarios:

  • Both drivers are reversing
  • Both drivers are trying to pull into the same spot
  • Rear-end collisions
  • Accident while reversing to the parking aisle

No plan to avoid damage is perfect. Be prepared to call Reliable Collision Repair.

At Reliable Collision Repair, we understand that no matter how careful drivers try to be, accidents will always happen. We also understand that when your vehicle needs repairs, even for a parking lot fender-bender, it can feel like your life has been turned upside down. That’s why we do everything we can to get you back on the road. From handling the appraisal to dealing with your insurance company and even providing rental vehicles or helping to tow your vehicle to our shop in some cases – we can help you at every step of the way.

As a class-A autobody shop, when you use Reliable Collision, you can rest assured that your vehicle is in good hands. If you give us a call at (401) 823-4770 or schedule an appointment with us through Carwise, we’ll be happy to help get your vehicle back in the road in tip-top shape.