As a paving company we spend a good amount of time in-and-around parking lot areas and continuously see the deterioration of parking lot etiquette. There is always that one driver speeding through a parking lot ignoring everything and everyone around them. Don’t be that driver! We have all know that feeling of stress building up when entering a packed parking lot and it’s just overwhelming. You can’t find a spot, people and children are crisscrossing through, you are searching for that perfect spot and then…you see it! There it is, an opening, FINALLY, but as you slowly approach you see… to your horror that someone has parked incorrectly and is hanging over the line and you won’t be able to fit! It is regrettable that in our hectic lifestyles, common etiquette is seldom observed and we feel that it is time to lead by example. Take a gander at a couple of simple guidelines/rules that we have compiled that we believe are helpful in maintaining that proper parking lot etiquette:
1. Slow down you’re movin’ too fast
Patience is a virtue and in a parking lot that virtue can be tested but that patience can preserve damages to your car, to others cars, surrounding landscape, parking lot structures, and the likelihood of injury to pedestrians. Take things slow, back out slow, pull in slow, and drive slow. We politely encourage that when you are entering or exiting any parking lot to practice the age-old virtue of patience. If speeding is a problem in your parking lot, let us know. We can help strategically place speed bumps to discourage speeding and keep pedestrians safer.
2. Parking Lots = NO CELL PHONE ZONE
To prevent damages, accidents, and injuries cell phone laws have been put into place to prevent people from texting and driving. Walking in a busy parking lot with your head glued to the small screen can be just as dangerous resulting in accidents and injuries. Avoid engaging in a conversation or texting while walking through a parking lot. Check your phone while you’re in your parked car.
3. Signs Signs, Everywhere a Sign
Every parking lot is legally required to have certain signs particularly placed throughout a parking lot. Take the time to observe the signs. From speed limit signs to designated parking signs they all have a purpose and that purpose will help most likely save you from another stressful scenario. The simplicity of the signs are only realized when you take the time to slow down and observe them.
4. Return Your Cart, Yeah You 😉
Even if you think you have put your cart in a spot where it isn’t rolling right then and there doesn’t mean it won’t roll away with a gust of wind and if that baby picks up speed can do a remarkable amount of damage. Some people leave shopping carts on the curb to prevent it from rolling but doing this creates less room for people to evenly park or drive into the adjacent parking spots around where you left that cart. Get those extra steps on that pedometer and walk that cart to the cart corral.
5. Walk this way, don’t walk “in the way”
When walking to and from your vehicle use the existing pathways created (I know you’ve seen them) they are typically shown with “cross-hatch” style paint markings directing you to and from the entry and are the safest pedestrian pathway even if it isn’t the direct and quickest path to and from your personal vehicle, remember, it is the SAFEST. When walking to and from your vehicle avoid walking down the middle of an aisle instead walk behind the aisle of cars and keep your eyes aimed at the taillights as you walk to predict which cars are reversing to leave. Below shows arrowed routes showing an example of where to walk in a parking lot.
6. Use the striping lines to park evenly
We get it, not everyone can park evenly on the first time but everyone can take the time to correct it. People tend to follow others angle, so set the example and you will find that when you CAUTIOUSLY open your door that there is usually the right about of room. Just in case you wanted some examples of bad parking some examples are shown below. If you park so close to someone that your door—or theirs—can’t easily open enough for a reasonably-sized human to get in or out you’re contributing to the rising epidemic of door dings. Do not hide your car by pulling in too far You know the feeling of driving through a full parking lot, and the relief of finally finding a spot, only to discover there’s a tiny car or motorcycle parked there right as you’re about to pull in. Stop early, so that drivers can see the rear of your vehicle.
7. No need to park so close, find a spacious spot and get your stroll on
By parking a little bit further than you would hope for reduces the potential damages to your vehicle and parking further away helps to add a couple of extra healthy steps to your day. Creating some space is good for you and your vehicle.
8. Do not park in an electric vehicle charging spot without an electric vehicle
As technology continues to advance so have our vehicles and now most parking lots have electric vehicle charging stations with designated spots. For the sake of this argument, pretend your car’s just about out of gas and someone with a full tank parked right in front of the only gas pump. Pretty inconsiderate, huh? Maybe one day we will all have electric vehicle charging spots of our own.
9. Trash is Not Tolerated. Period.
Your car is your car, you may decorate the interior as you please but when the interior starts to spill out into the exterior parking lot then your “trash” (whatever it may be) becomes everyone’s trash. This is what separates “easy” from “etiquette”. Toss your trash in the designated trash bins on your way in or even better take it home and place it in your own bins at home. The environment and property owners will thank you.
10. Do not touch another’s vehicle.
Respect is key for this guideline/rule. Don’t set a box or bag on someone’s trunk or hood while you open your car door. Don’t put a flyer on someone’s windshield because sometimes it causes damage to the wipers or shield. I know the urge to draw “WASH ME” on someone else’s car but do not write in the dirt of a filthy car. R-E-S-P-E-C-T keep that in mind.
I hope you either refreshed your parking lot etiquette, learned something new, or realized someone or some group that this can be applied to. Please respect others and take the time to bring your common sense, patience, proper etiquette with you to every parking lot you visit.