Ways to make parking safe and stress-free.
Parking can cause anxiety levels to rise for many drivers. There are so many factors at play when you are parking — from finding a parking space to wondering if your car can fit into the parking lot to feeling pressured when cars behind you seem impatient to get past you. Here are some tips that can help you keep your cool and stay safe.
1. Observe Parking Rules
Always signal your intention to park upon finding a free spot. This will indicate to other drivers that you are about to park. To be safe, ensure that other drivers have stopped for you before you manoeuvre into the lot.
Don’t drive too far out before reversing into a lot; sometimes, this causes the driver behind you to mistakenly think you are driving off. As a guide for reverse parking, line up the rear bumper of your vehicle with the middle of the parking space right before the lot you will be parking in.
If you are reversing out of a lot, signal your intention and make sure to check your mirrors for oncoming vehicles or pedestrians. In addition, look over your shoulder to check the blind spots before you move out. If the lot area is dimly lit even during the day, turn on your headlights as an indication and for added illumination. Reversing out of the lot slowly will also give you better steering control to avoid knocking into another parked car or hitting the kerb.
Practice makes perfect. Apart from the usual parallel and reverse parking, you may also encounter situations when you have to park at an angled lot or on a slope. Get comfortable with different types of parking challenges by practising in an empty parking lot.2. Practise Common Courtesy
If the car park is full and two cars are waiting for a lot to be freed up, the unspoken rule is that the one closer to the lot has first dibs. For your safety, never steal a parking space. This is dangerous and may provoke aggressive reactions.
Park within your lot. Position your vehicle such that it is not too close to either lines so that you can get out of your car without your door hitting the vehicle next to yours. When parking on the street, be sure to park as close as possible to the kerb. This ensures that your vehicle does not obstruct or get hit by vehicles driving by.
Always check for pedestrians, especially small children, before you move off, particularly in mall parking lots. People can come from all directions, some wielding trolleys. To be on the safe side, proceed with caution and always be prepared to react.
3. Keep Calm
Don’t be picky about where you park. You don’t have to park in that prime parking spot near the lift lobby. You can park further away and chalk up steps to boost your fitness. That said, make sure the lot is well lit for your safety. If you feel unsafe, don’t park there.
If you have to wait a while for a parking lot, choose to be calm about it. Keep calm with good music and wait it out. But do use your common sense. If the parking lot is completely full, there is a long queue of cars and it is the start of lunch hour on a weekday, you may be better off with a change of plans!4. Smart Parking
Smart cars and smart apps are useful in making parking less of a hassle. Cars are now equipped with tools to help you park safely and easily with intelligent features such as Blind Spot Warning, Rear-view Camera, Park Assist and more. If you have them, learn to use them effectively.
For areas that still use coupon parking, do consider downloading the parking.sg app by URA. All you have to do is select your car park — either by keying in the car park’s code (located on the parking sign near your lot) or choosing from a list if your phone’s GPS is turned on — confirm the details, and click ‘start’. The app will give out a prompt about 10 minutes before the time is up, so you can choose to extend your parking time. If you do nothing, it will expire when the time is up. If you end your session early, you will get a refund on the unused minutes.
You can also check out the Park and Go app, which uses real-time information and data analytics to determine how many spaces will be free upon arrival at a particular car park. It helps identify available parking in 26 major government and commercial buildings, including VivoCity and ION, as well as HDB car parks. It even identifies which car parks have washing bays and parking spaces for the disabled.