"Basic Parking Skills" Need-To-Know Info
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Learn How to Drive a Car: Parking Lot Safety
Parking lots are ideal locations for crimes like purse-snatchings, auto theft, and car break-ins, as well as abductions. Your practice sessions as you learn how to drive will be in parking lots. Keep the following tips in mind for parking lot safety:
- Park in a well-lit area where there are lots of cars and people. If you work late, ask a Security Guard or friend to walk with you to your car. You might feel a little silly, but better safe than sorry.
- Don’t park next to large trucks or vans. They block your view and make it difficult for other people to see you as you’re getting in and out of your vehicle.
- Make a note of where you parked. – especially in large lots. Write down the lot and space number on a piece of paper or in your PDA, or take a picture with your phonecam. If you forget where you parked and get really lost - don’t wander aimlessly. Notify Security. They have vehicles that can drive you around and help you find your car.
- Don’t leave packages or valuables in plain sight. Put them in the trunk or take them with you.
- Trust your instincts. Don’t get out of the car if you don’t feel safe. If you see someone who looks suspicious nearby, move to another spot or wait until they leave. When you do get out; get out quickly, lock the door and set the alarm if you have one.
- If you’re lucky enough to have a remote, know how it works and use it properly. Will one click open just the driver’s door – while two clicks open all the doors? Know where the panic button is and don’t be afraid to use it.
- When returning to your car, scan the area around it and have your keys ready. If you feel unsafe or see anyone that looks or acts suspiciously - return to the store and notify Security.
Learning How to Drive a Car: Parking Where You Shouldn’t
Parking tickets add up. If you try to hide them, you’ll lose your parents trust and they’ll probably find out anyway. In some places, you can’t get your annual license plate sticker until all tickets against the vehicle are paid. (Picture your Dad getting in line to renew his plate. The line is long and he’s probably a little grumpy. He finally gets to the counter - only to find he has to pay your 3 tickets first! Dinner might not be so pleasant that night!) In some ‘no parking’ zones you car can be towed. If it is, you’ll have to pay the tow fee and all outstanding tickets - plus a hefty impound fee which gets bigger every day the car remains in the impound lot!
Learning How to Drive a Car: Parking Tips
Don’t listen to your friends when they say, “No one ever gets a ticket here” because if you do get a ticket, they won’t pay it for you. Before you pull into a spot, make sure you’ll have enough room to get out. I watched a young guy proudly squeeze into a tight spot once – only to realize he couldn’t open the car doors to get out of the car!