Going home from work is one of the best parts of the day. Getting into your car and pulling out of the parking lot is just the first step towards your relaxing evening.
It may be tempting to text your spouse that you’re leaving or maybe call them to discuss dinner plans. But you are putting yourself and others at risk if you don’t drive safely—even when you’re still in the parking lot.
Put your phone down
You don’t need to be speeding to cause an accident when you are distracted. According to a National Security Council (NSC) poll, about 50% of drivers do at least one of the following while driving in a parking lot:
- Make a phone call
- Set their GPS destination
- Check social media
- Look at their email
- Take a photo
- Watch a video
- Fix their hair or make-up
It doesn’t matter that you aren’t driving as fast as you do on the road—all of these actions are dangerous when you are behind the wheel. Foot traffic is particularly high in parking lots, and many pedestrian deaths occur from driver distraction in such areas. Stay focused on what is in front of and behind you.
Keep following the rules of the road
When driving in a parking lot, make sure that you:
- Don’t cut across empty parking spots
- Use your signals every time you turn
- Obey stop signs
- Drive slowly—even if there is no marked speed limit
- Check carefully behind you when backing up
- Watch out for pedestrians—they might be blocked from your view at first
You can’t ignore driving rules just because you aren’t technically on the road. Driving in a parking lot requires just as much careful attention as on the highway. Keep everyone safe by being patient and cautious the entire time you are driving.