Tips for safe parking

Parking is an important aspect of driving which can sometimes prove very stressful for some, particularly when on a congested street or a crowded car park.

In recent years manufacturers have been looking to develop new technologies which can take the stress out of parking. Already many high-trim level cars for sale offer assistance via parking sensors, parking cameras or even radar-based features which can pull off parallel parking manoeuvres.

More sophisticated technology, which will effectively allow a car to park itself without any driver input, continues to undergo development.

Until such technology becomes more commonplace however, a lot of the UK’s drivers will still need to park without help from gadgets. Regardless, a measured should make parking a safe experience and stress can easily be avoided. Here are our top tips for safe parking.

First of all, if you’re parking on a street then ideally park your car on the left-hand side of the road if possible. This is safer then crossing over to the other side of the road where oncoming traffic can be.

When searching for a parking spot, whether that is in a street or within a car park, drive slowly past a potential space to use. As you approach a parking space, size it up to see if your car will reasonably fit.

Try and avoid suddenly stopping when searching for a parking space, especially if you have traffic behind you. If you realistically can’t stop without causing a collision then just keep driving on.

As the Institute of Advance Motorists (IAM) explains, you should also not allow yourself to feel pressurised by other drivers wherever you park. The IAM chief examiner, Peter Rodger, comments that “It’s important to do it at a sensible pace”.

If you’re in a car park then try and reverse into an available parking space. This is not only safer for when you’re driving out; it is also a more fuel efficient technique.

Also, if you’re in a supermarket car park, try and park your car away from trolley parks or corners. This way there’s less of a chance that your car could be damaged by trolleys.

While undertaking a parking manoeuvre remember to keep constantly checking over your shoulder and your mirrors during the process. You need to know what’s going on around you and relying on parking sensors is no guarantee.

Preferably wherever you park your vehicle, do your best to leave enough space for pedestrians and large vehicles to get past it. Such a considerate approach should better protect your vehicle and other people around it.

Pavement parking is also something best avoided for the safety of others. Outside of London there’s strictly no law in place which says UK motorists can’t park on pavements. However, local authorities outside London can make an order prohibiting parking on the pavement.

In this scenario, there will be signs which clearly point out on a particular road where parking on the pavement is specifically prohibited. The consequence for parking on the pavement where it’s prohibited is typically a fixed penalty notice.

Not only can parking on a pavement be illegal in some places, it can also be dangerous for pedestrians walking on the affected pavement, as they may be forced to walk on the road. It can especially prove a hazardous problem for those pedestrians that are blind or partially-sighted.