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Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Tips for Driving in Parking Lots

A strange phenomenon occurs when drivers enter a parking lot: many completely forget that the rules of the road still apply! Just because it's private property doesn't mean that traffic rules suddenly cease to exist. The reality is that there are very specific rules in place to ensure that individuals do not get hurt. Often they are ignored and traffic collisions occur needlessly. To help you navigate parking lot driving, we've compiled a list of rules to keep in mind when navigating these vast spaces.

Do not cross yellow lines
Just because a parking lot is empty does not mean that a driver can just cruise across lanes without following them as if they were roads. Treat yellow lines as you would treat them on any other road: you cannot cross them! Without a set path of traffic, it would not be possible for another vehicle to anticipate your next move and could therefore be quite dangerous. The lines ensure that drivers stick to predictable pathways so others can anticipate where they're going.

Give the right of way
Remember that just like on public roads, drivers must give the right of way to busier streets. In the same way, the smaller roads which go between the main roads must give the right of way to the thoroughfares which feed directly into the closest public street.

Coming out of a parking space
If you're coming out of a parking spot, you must also give the right of way to oncoming traffic and you cannot cross the yellow line to move into the spot across from you. This is a common occurrence and can confuse other drivers and contribute to a collision. A driver pulling into the parking spot across from you may assume that you aren't going to move forward, and then bump into you as you pull into the spot he thought was going to be free.

Collisions in parking lots tend to be fairly minor in nature; for the most part, people are not going fast enough to cause serious damage. That being said, a fender bender can really put a damper on your day, and even small dents can cost you (and your insurance company) a lot of money. To avoid this inconvenience, follow these tips and remember to treat parking lots with the same respect as public roads. 

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