Truckers likely have to park a number of times throughout the day, from getting some food at a restaurant, ducking into a truck stop, pulling into a rest area or just dropping off a load. When you do so, you may be at greater risk for an accident than you think, and that's true whether you're behind the wheel or on foot.
With that in mind, it's never a bad idea to brush up on proper behavior in parking lots large and small, so you and everyone else can avoid an accident:
1) Take it slow
Perhaps the most important aspect of reducing risk in parking lots is for everyone to be as slow and careful as they can, according to Trucking Info. Obviously, you can't account for other people's behavior, but you can certainly do more to be cautious yourself, whether you're a driver or pedestrian. Laying off the gas, looking both ways before crossing and so on are all great ways to avoid an accident.
2) Keep your head on a swivel
Of course, there are risks with more than just passing traffic in a parking lot, Trucking Info added. Others may emerge from behind cars, back their vehicles out of spots without looking, open doors, pull through spaces and so on and you have to proceed cautiously no matter how you're traveling through a parking lot. That means no looking at your phone or otherwise becoming distracted just because you're out of regular traffic.
3) Show situational awareness when parking
When you're a trucker, you already know of the many ways in which parking can be a bit of a pain, and giving yourself as much room as possible is always preferable, according to Interstate Motor Carriers. That includes parking at the end of rows, not allowing yourself to be put into a situation where you have to back out of a spot and so on. Sometimes, these situations are unavoidable, but if you can avoid them, you should.
4) Be willing to walk a little more
Often, drivers may park as close as they can to a building, even if that means they have to park next to other vehicles or in an area where pulling out, backing up and similar maneuvers are a little more dangerous, Interstate Motor Carriers said. Simply put, you shouldn't swap that extra 15 seconds of walking convenience for safety behind the wheel.
5) Park in well-lit areas
Finally, you need to make sure both you and your truck are as visible as possible in a parking lot, and that means it's important to park as close to lighting as you can, according to Str8 Dispatch. This not only makes you more visible to other drivers or pedestrians - giving them a better chance of avoiding you - but it also reduces the risk of crimes of opportunity like break-ins. That simple step can go a long way toward keeping you and others safe.
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