Parking may be one of the more underrated elements of driving, even though it requires quite a bit of preparation, thought, and technique. Knowing where, when, and how to park your car can mean the difference between a smooth or frustrating experience. Motorists must remember than even a vehicle that is parked can be involved in a car accident.
Although parking lots remain a source of contention for many drivers who need a spot to store their car, street parking, and especially parallel parking, carries its own annoying frustrations. Without care, your car can end up with dings and dents, be vandalized, or even be stolen. Is it any wonder around two out of three drivers told pollsters their stress went up while parking?
To improve the chances of coming back to an untouched car, implement a few of the following strategies when parking along any kind of street.
Try Not to Stick Out
You should always park with the flow of traffic rather than against it. On a two-lane or one-way road, that means you will park along the right side of the street. However, you need to be careful when parking so that the side of your car does not jut out into traffic and become a nuisance.
You should try to park no more than 12 to 18 inches away from the curb. That way, your car will fit flush with all the other cars. The more your car sticks out, the higher the risk that another driver will run into it.
Use Your Instincts
A good rule is to park your car as close to where you will be living, working, or shopping as possible. That way, you can keep tabs on it throughout the day. If a street seems unsafe, trust your instincts and try to find another area to park.
Little-traveled and isolated side streets and alleys might have parking spaces. Yet they can end up being the wrong spot to park your car. Thieves like to do their work away from others’ eyes. A car that is in the open is less of a temptation or an easy target.
Conduct a Final Check before Leaving the Car
Never rush out of your parked car before taking a few extra steps. The steps will not take long but could mean the difference between an uneventful or irritating day.
First, make sure all your windows are up and any valuables are hidden from passersby. Next, secure your steering wheel lock bar if you use one. Many city drivers trust them as a deterrent. Then, activate your car alarm. Finally, double-check to make sure all your doors are locked. A burglar would rather break into a car with rolled-down windows and unlocked doors.
Know How Long You Can Legally Park
No driver wants to find a parking ticket on the windshield, although it can be better than realizing your car has been towed. Always pay attention to parking rules wherever you go. Never park in zones designated for municipal or delivery vehicles. Unless you have a special sticker, stay out of parking spots meant for those with disabilities. Also, stay at least 15 feet away from fire hydrants.
Most parking meters note how long they are activated throughout the day. Rather than overpaying, check out what your meter says. For example, you might park at 3:00 p.m. and find out the meter stops measuring time at 6:00 p.m. If you plan to stay in the area until 10:00 p.m., you only need to pay for three hours instead of seven. Being smart about this can save you money.
What Happens if You Have a Car Accident or Issue?
You did everything you could to park safely, but your car was still hit, vandalized, or stolen. Your best bet is to immediately call your car insurance company and, if applicable, your insurance provider for your apartment or home. Either company should be able to help you depending on what happened to your car.
Of course, if your car is hit while you are in it, you may end up getting hurt. A negligent driver could rear-end you and cause neck or back problems. If you need advice about a potential case or are having trouble with your insurance carrier, you could always speak with a car accident lawyer to figure out how to proceed.
West Chester Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Help Clients in Accidents Involving Parked Cars
If you or a loved one was involved in an accident involving a parked car, reach out to the West Chester car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Our experienced legal team will investigate the cause of the accident and fight to secure the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule an appointment. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.