Cars parked indoors

Stay Classy: Abide by Proper Parking Etiquette

You’re late for a business meeting in West Valley City or a get together in Provo. The only thing standing in your way is an asphalt paving job near your parking space or a driver who can’t decide where to park.

Before you do anything rash, cool your head and remember your parking lot etiquette.

Don’t Damage the Parking Lot

When there’s newly-paved, sealed, or repaired asphalt, you need to abide by the safety cones around it. Don’t ignore the warning signs and drive over it, and if there are no signs, don’t do anything that can damage the newly-repaired road. Hydraulic jacks, sharp turns, and other reckless driving maneuvers on asphalt that hasn’t settled can also wreck it.

Follow the Signs

Like you would on roads, follow the signage around parking lots. Following parking lot arrows and signs will prevent you from getting into entirely avoidable crashes or bumping into other parked cars.

If there are signs designating certain lanes as one-way routes, don’t go against the flow. On two-way roads, follow the arrows on the ground and signs hung up on posts. You should also check the alignment of parking stalls to avoid driving over open spaces with no bumpers.

Park Right; Don’t Hog Space

Empty parking spaceIf you’ve ever encountered a pickup truck or a sports car that decided to park diagonally across or in the middle of two car spaces, then you’re probably less inclined to do the same thing. When parking, don’t use up two car lots, as you’re taking up precious parking space and facing the risk of being towed.

The same rule applies when you parked at unmarked spaces in residential areas. Don’t park smack-dab in the middle of two car spaces when you know your car can only take up one. In both cases, you should ensure that your car is in the right space—your bumper shouldn’t hang out of the parking space (unless you’re driving a big car) and the front of the car shouldn’t nudge to the one in front of it. Overhanging can damage your car and the one next to it.

Be Courteous to Others

Whether you’re in the parking lot of a shopping mall or a restaurant, it always pays to be courteous to other users. While you shouldn’t go against the rule above and let your car hang out of a spot, tiny cars and motorcycles should let other motorists know they’ve got the spot. They can do so by ensuring that their bumpers can be seen from a distance.

If there are lots of open spaces, park away from other cars. When you find a spot, put your signals on to let other drivers know that you’ll start parking. In both instances, you’re avoiding damage to your vehicle.

Electric vehicle charging spots should be reserved for electric vehicles alone. Don’t throw debris that can damage cars or hurt pedestrians, and never touch someone else’s car. When you’re done with your spot, remember all the rules for pulling out of a parking spot: signal, be aware of your surroundings and reverse slowly. Be kind and courteous, and your parking lot experience will improve.

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