Diagram of truck pulling through to next parking space

If you are parking in marked spaces, pull through to the next space so you can pull forward to leave. Back only as a last resort.

This article is from the August 2015 issue of the IC Safety newsletter. To view the full issue, visit the IC Safety archive.

Most collisions occur in an uncontrolled and potentially chaotic area, and it's not the highway—it's the parking lot. Collisions in parking lots are usually minor and property damage is the most likely result. However, these minor collisions can add up to large costs because they can be more frequent, are often below insurance deductibles and can hurt relations with customers.

Informing your drivers of the following procedures can help reduce parking-related collisions:

General parking guidelines

  • Make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted throughout the day
  • Scan the area as you approach
  • Note any fixed objects like poles, signs or trash cans, which may be hard to see with your mirrors
  • Look up for low hanging signs, tree branches or awnings
  • Back only as a last resort and back into the most controlled area
  • Honk your horn a few times prior to and during backing
  • Plan your exit before you park
  • If you are delivering to a new customer and you are unsure of where to park, call ahead and ask for specific instructions

Parking on streets or in residential areas

  • Pull out of the lane of traffic as far as you can and put on your four-way hazards
  • Do not block or pull into driveways
  • Once parked, tuck in your mirrors on the traffic side of narrow streets
  • Look around your vehicle when you return and make note of children or pets in the area

Parking in lots or along buildings

  • If parking in marked spaces, pull through to the next space so you can pull forward to leave
  • If you cannot pull through, back into position so you can pull forward to leave
  • Watch for pedestrians and fixed objects
  • Watch your tail swing around fixed objects and parked cars by using your mirrors

Moving from a parked position

  • Take a moment to look around the vehicle for obstacles and double check your plan for leaving the area
  • Check to make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted, put on your turn signal, check your mirrors, and look over your shoulder for approaching traffic
  • Check your tail swing on the side of your vehicle closest to the curb by looking in the mirror on that side of the vehicle
  • If you are unsure of where your vehicle is going or if the area is clear, always get out and look
  • Categorized in:
  • Sharing the Road
  • Driving Techniques
  • Transportation Safety