Parking lots can be confusing places with drivers pulling in and out of parking stalls, shopping carts, pedestrians walking, baby strollers and more. Add to this the fact that drivers seem to think that signalling is not necessary in parking lots and it just becomes a guessing game. So here are some tips to help you better navigate parking lots. First of all signal. If you’re parking signal, if you’re making a turn signal. If you see a stop line but not a stop sign, make a full stop. Treat parking lots as two way street so don’t drive down the middle if there is a reasonable chance that an another car can approach from the other side. Yield to pedestrians. Check the ground for feet when passing by parking cars. I recommend always reverse stall parking if it is permitted in the parking lot that you’re in. Why? Because you can check to see if the stall is clear and back into a clear stall rather than perform a forward stall park and then have to back into a busy parking lot when leaving. I rather be facing out of my stall when leaving. Similarly, if you pull into a stall, see if it’s possible for you to pull through so you’re facing out of your stall. Use this mirror trick to see if you’re perfectly within your stall or not. When you’re driving down the parking lot look for backup lights on vehicles. They can serve as a warning if someone is backing out. If you’re backing out of a parking stall, make sure you signal to the direction that you’re going to pull out towards and perform a 360 check and turn around and look out back window when moving backwards. Using your rear view mirror is not enough.
When you’re leaving a parking lot and onto a road, you need to stop before the sidewalk or area where pedestrians may be walking. Pull out carefully and yield to any traffic on the road and wait for a safe gap. So if you know it will take you 3 seconds to make your turn then the traffic approaching should be at least 6 seconds away.