Whether it’s for a few minutes or a few hours, when you park in a shopping centre car park, you want to know that your car is safe. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case, and a quick trip to the shops may cost you more than you think if your vehicle is involved in a collision.
Although it can happen anytime, holidays are particularly dangerous for shopping centre car park collisions. People may be stressed, making them lose concentration and awareness of their immediate surroundings.
NRMA Insurance Head of Research, Robert McDonald says that “Typical parking collisions involved hitting other cars, runaway shopping trolleys, or scraping pylons and poles, with 46 per cent of car park collisions occurring while reversing”.
Here are our tips on staying safe while behind the wheel:
1. Keep your attention on driving- don’t multi-task
It’s easy to get distracted, thinking about what you need for dinner, the phone call you need to return, and the upcoming event you’re yet to RSVP to, but when you’re behind the wheel, safety is your number one priority.
2. Hands off your phone
Taking your eyes off the road for longer than two seconds, doubles the risk of a crash. At 60 km/h if you look at your phone while driving for just two seconds, you travel 33 metres blind.
3. Slow down
Speeding gives you less time to react. Car parks usually have a low speed limit, so stick to that!
4. Obey the parking rules and traffic directions and be alert for other drivers who don’t
Road rules don’t disappear when you enter a shopping centre car park, so remember to stick to the rules just like you would on any other road.
5. Reversing cameras and sensors can help, but drivers should still be aware of what’s around them
Be mindful of pedestrians that may not always be looking, it’s your job to look out for anyone around your vehicle- and double check before reversing!
6. Watch out for stray trolleys
Return the trolleys to the trolley bays and keep an eye out for any stray trolleys while driving to avoid.
You can’t always avoid collisions. If you do damage to a parked car, do the right thing and leave a note with your details; and if you witness a collision, pass on any information you have to the innocent party.
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