A woman in a parking garage holding her keys and locking her car using the key fob.

Numerous outdoor parking lots are being taken over by condominium developments and retail complexes, leaving drivers no choice but to park in the underground garage. The driving lanes are tight but can be considered roomy compared to the actual parking spaces. Yet, some drivers turn these corners at high speeds and blindly back-out of their parking spots.

Taking the proper precautions in the underground parking lot could save you on car insurance and avoid dings, scrapes, and more serious injuries.

Driving in Underground Parking

Not everyone will drive safely in the parking garage, but you can be prepared by staying alert and putting away the distractions. Here are six ways to drive safely in the underground parking lot.

1. Slow Down

Reducing your speed in the underground parking can prevent a series of accidents. By slowing down you can stop more easily for pedestrians, cars that are backing out or coming around the corner, and avoid hitting parked vehicles.

2. Use the Safety Mirrors

Use the circular mirrors generally positioned on the parking garage wall to see if other cars are coming around the corner. Some driver's will even honk to make their presence known.

3. Reverse into Your Parking Spot

Reversing into your parking spot will give you the best visibility when driving out of your parking space. Backing out may not be the most convenient or quickest option when you arrive at your destination, but it is typically the safest when you leave.

4. Be Patient

Backing into a parking space takes some practice and a little time. Some drivers may feel the urge to drive past a car who is partway through parking. That car will most likely have to readjust. So, just wait. This can prevent a collision and won't add pressure to the other driver.

5. Remember the Rules Still Apply

The rules of the road still apply in the parking lot, whether it's above ground or below. Stay on the right side of the "road", obey posted signs, and use your turn signals.

6. Open Your Door Slowly

The tight parking spaces may make it difficult getting in and out of your car. Hold the door as you're getting out to avoid dinging another vehicle and hope they do the same.

Personal Safety

Parking garages tend to be dark, dingey, and secluded. Asking for someone to walk you safely to your car can be a good idea. As for your belongings and car itself, here are three tips for preventing crime.

1. The Perfect Parking Spot

Choosing a well-lit parking space may not always be possible. However, cars are less likely to be broken into if there is a greater chance the thief will be seen or identified. Choosing a parking space close to the security cameras or emergency telephone may also be a deterrent.

2. Secure Your Car

Many new cars offer standard high-tech safety features. Some vehicles have the ability to lock your car and roll-up the windows at the same time, while others will beep if you leave your keys in the car. Though, many drivers still have to exercise their arm muscles and manually roll-up their windows to secure their ride.

Here is a quick safety list to ensure your vehicle is secured:

  • Turn off your car: The Canadian winter is cold, and many people leave their keys in the car to warm up their vehicle. Some driver's may even leave their vehicle running to pop into a shop. But leaving the keys in your car is an invitation to criminals.
  • Roll-up the windows: If you leave your windows down, not only can thieves grab your belongings they may also be able to unlock your car and drive away with it.
  • Hide your valuables: Place shopping bags, electronics, backpacks or purses, and items that could be assumed to have value in the glovebox or trunk. Some cars have been broken into because headphones were visible and thieves assumed they were attached to a bigger ticket item. Others have been burgled for something as simple as the coins in the cupholder. A broken window is worth far more than the effort it takes to put your items away.
  • Lock your doors: Whether it's hitting the key fob twice and waiting to hear the beep or manually clicking all the buttons, making sure your vehicle is locked is the first defence against thieves.

3. Check Your Back Seat and Surroundings

Beware of your surroundings when walking back to your car and always check in and around your vehicle before getting in.

Protect Your Wallet

The underground parking garage is a prime location for a fail to remain traffic violation. If you are the victim of a hit and run, you will want to make sure you have the right coverage before such an incident were to occur. Collision coverage can protect your vehicle from this type of damage.

Car insurance can cover you in the event of an accident or theft and can save you money. Compare auto insurance rates at Kanetix.ca to make sure you have all the coverage you need at the lowest price.

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