Win the parking lot battle
There’s something we all do as drivers that many seem to overlook as being risky – driving through the dreaded parking lot during the holiday season. For many drivers during this time of year it becomes an all-out combat zone to find that one remaining vacant parking space. Driving manners seem to be thrown out the window, but there are things you can do to win the battle.
Driving up and down the aisles during this busy time of year means you’ll find pedestrians walking between vehicles to get to and from the stores and their vehicle. Larger vehicles such as vans and SUVs can hide the pedestrians from you and you from them. To help keep everyone safe, reduce your speed and drive toward the centre of the aisle. By driving away from the parked vehicles, you’re improving the angle you and the pedestrians have of each other. It allows each of you to see each other sooner and will also give more response time for both of you in case either of you have to stop. Ensure you drift back toward the right side of your aisle when oncoming vehicle approach and as you approach any intersecting aisle. This will protects you from vehicles turning sharply into your aisle as it will give them more space to enter.
Treat the aisle you’re driving in as you would a roadway. Yield to pedestrians and cross traffic, signal your intentions so everyone else knows which way you’re planning to go, including your parking space once you find one. To find that parking space, it’s best to start at one end of the parking lot and work your way to the other side. Be prepared to park further away than you may like during peak times, so ensure you’re wearing good walking shoes.
Perhaps the best tip to find that elusive parking space is to decide when the best time to get to the mall would be. If you can go there when the stores first open while many others are either at work or in school, you’ll find plenty of parking spots. Not only will the parking be plentiful, but the stores won’t be as busy, therefore your shopping trip will take less time. If you can do that it will seem to be a win-win for you. Not all of us can do that, so that may not work for some.
One final tip to finding an empty parking space in a busy parking lot is to head directly to a set of doors to find people leaving the mall. Let them begin walking toward their vehicle and you then follow them, staying well back. Once you find which vehicle they’re getting into, put on your turn signal and position your vehicle ready to park. That should help you find that last space.
Whichever tip you use, do it safely and be patient. An empty space will arrive soon enough. And when it does, you’ve won the battle.