Based on our experience supporting hundreds of clients, slow speed manoeuvring and hit while parked collisions remain amongst the most common collision types reported by fleet drivers around the world. Although their individual costs are relatively low, because of the high volume of such incidents, the overall expense to individual organisations is highly significant in direct repair invoices, as well as a wide range of hidden costs such as vehicle down-time and reduced resale values. We have has therefore reviewed good practice research on safe parking, and developed the following 20 common sense tips for drivers to avoid parking and slow speed manoeuvring incidents.
1. Minimise the need to travel, for example by video conferencing, or travel by train or other modes whenever possible, especially when visiting urban areas.
2. Have an eye examination every two years, as an increase in slow speed manoeuvring incidents is often a sign of deteriorating vision.
3. Try to book an allocated parking space in advance so that you can park in a designated location.
4. Check your mirrors every time you get in your vehicle.
5. Allow time in journey plans to find suitable/safe parking.
6. Be familiar with the height, width, length and features of your vehicle.
7. Obey traffic lanes, local road rules and instructions.
8. Check your mirrors before stopping, and signal to alert other drivers.
9. Always have an ‘exit strategy’ in mind when parking. Think about the spacing from buildings, other vehicles, street furniture and turn radius of the exit manoeuvre – and how you will get out.
10. Manoeuvre slowly and in control.
11. Don't race for a parking space when seeing someone approach their car with keys in hand.
12. Watch out for and anticipate the actions of other drivers and pedestrians.
13. Always park within the painted lines of the space allocation.
14. Where legal and safe to do so, reverse/back into parking spaces – so that you can drive out at the start of your journey. This is good for both safety and fuel efficiency.
15. Do not park in a commercial vehicle zone unless you are engaged in legitimate commercial business.
16. During the day, park away from buildings to help avoid dings and dents from car doors, runaway shopping carts, or vandals. At night, avoid such secluded areas for security reasons.
17. Avoid parking in the spaces/end of rows near turning areas.
18. Avoid parking near the shopping trolley return areas in store car parks.
19. Before leaving the vehicle, set the hand brake, put the vehicle in first gear, or ‘park’ position in automatics.
20. Be extra careful when backing out of spaces. Be aware of vehicles and pedestrians moving behind you, cars waiting to get your spot, others who are backing out at the same time and reckless drivers who speed through lanes.
Note: A more detailed research-based guidance for managers on minimising hit while parked incidents is freely available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org