Let's face it, parking is the one thing all of us continue to struggle with long after we've got our drivers license. Apart from the skills required to manoeuvre a car into a tight spot, a few precautions need to be taken to park your car safely. Here are a few simple things to keep in mind to ensure that your car is parked correctly and safely
While approaching a parking spot, stick to the left side of the road. This will ensure that no one attempts to overtake you from the left just as you are about to pull into a parking spot. A slow and steady pace, with the left indicator on also helps clarify your intent to park to others. Also, choose a spot that will fit your car with enough room to open the doors on either side.
Look around for obstacles, pedestrians and traffic before attempting to enter a parking spot using all three mirrors. Turning your head around to check blind spots is also a very good idea. Park as close to the kerb as possible so very little of your car extrudes on the road.Before locking and leaving your car, ensure there is considerable space on either side for other cars to pull out.
Ok, now that your car is parked perfectly, don't forget to slot it into gear and engage the hand brake after turning off the ignition.If parallel parked facing uphill, ensure the car is very close to the kerb and in first gear with the wheels are fully turned pointing to the right. If parallel parked facing downhill, slot the car into reverse gear with wheels fully turned pointing to the left.
Before you start pulling out of a parking spot, do a quick survey of everything around the car. When reversing out of a perpendicular parking spot, turn your head towards traffic and reverse slow and steady with hazards on. If pulling out of a parallel parking spot, turn on the right indicator and drive out slowly and steadily. In any case don't make any sudden moves.
General tips for safe & secure parking
- Make sure you have chosen the correct parking spot. Make sure it is legal to park there, check for P1/P2 sides and do not park in front of a gate even if there isn't a ‘No Parking' sign there. Also choose a spot that will not inconvenience other vehicles on the road. Parking under coconut trees is simply a bad idea.
- When leaving your car parked in an unfamiliar area overnight, find a spot with other cars nearby. A lonely car is more likely to get vandalized.
- It goes without saying, don't forget to lock your car's doors after you've parked. Double-check by pulling on all the door and boot handles. Fold in both the outer mirrors as well.
- Do not leave any valuables in your car after you've parked it. If you must, stow them securely in the glove box or any other storage compartment.