Unlike the more relaxed shopping atmosphere inside, the car park of a typical shopping centre can be a seething cauldron of tension, tempers and frustration.
Our personalities can change behind the wheel of a car. In a busy car park we're confronted with those personalities up close and in cramped surroundings. No wonder recent statistics released by Suncorp Insurance paint a less than friendly picture of car park etiquette.
The survey found that 38% of those surveyed had their car damaged while parked in the last year, and, in 94% of those cases a note was not left by the offending driver.
It seems bad motor manners are commonplace. 58% of those surveyed had experienced another motorist stealing their car space while they were clearly waiting for it in a car park, while 80% had seen other drivers using disabled car spaces without a permit.
What to do?
"We can start by making a conscious decision each trip to be both careful and courteous" says Suncorp Insurance Executive Manager Martin Weatherhead. "Good manners and a calm attitude can make the difference between a pleasant shopping trip and a stress-filled day."
Tips for safer parking
- If it's not busy try a spot where there are no other vehicles surrounding your car.
- Avoid parking near trolley collection bays.
- Navigate your park carefully as you drive into the space, within the white lines and with enough room either side to allow for other car doors opening.
- Avoid parking next to vehicles that aren’t parked correctly - clumsy or lazy drivers are more likely to hit you when backing out.
- Avoid parking next to large 4-wheel drives - they block visibility and can cause more damage when involved in an incident.
- When reversing always look over your shoulder and drive slowly.
- Help keep the car park free of hazards by returning your trolley to the bays.
- Watch your speed. Think ahead and look for potential hazards like pedestrians, reversing cars, children and trolleys.
- If you cause damage to another vehicle do the right thing and leave your details.