Parking Safety Tips
Parking is an inevitable byproduct of the city and it’s urban sprawl. Whether you’re parking your car for work, school or just to go out with friends, be aware of safety risks when making your choice. With these tips in mind, you can decrease the chances of experiencing a negative event while parking or returning to your parked vehicle.
- Choose your parking spot carefully to avoid becoming a victim of theft or vandalism. Always park in well lit areas with good visibility in all directions of your parked vehicle,
- Park as close as possible to your exit location as possible, which will usually be a path, door, electric gate, stairs or elevator. Know your nearest safe exit route.
- Avoid parking on garage levels that are empty or rarely used.
- Always lock your doors when leaving your parked vehicle as a theft deterrent.
- Secure all valuables in your trunk, so that the only item showing in your car is a parking pass.
- If the parking lot is new to you or you are worried about your safety, drive right through the car park first to see if everything appears normal before you park your vehicle.
- If something does not feel right, trust your instincts. Either leave immediately and find somewhere else to park, or drive around until you find a location with more pedestrians and driver activity, then park there, and leave the lot or garage feeling safer.
- When parking your vehicle, reverse into the parking space so that the front of the vehicle is facing out. This increases your visibility of the surrounding area whenever you enter or exit your vehicle and also allows you to drive away more quickly if you are being approached by a stranger.
- Before you exit your vehicle, look around carefully in all directions and have your exit route clear in your mind. When you do leave the car, walk briskly and confidently to the exit or elevator. Do not allow yourself to be distracted by your mobile phone, other pedestrians or drivers.
- If you are worried that you may become a target, vary your routine. Park in different parking lots, at different times. Go out of your way to avoid having a predictable schedule.
- If you are driving to work and parking alone, speak to your colleagues and join a carpool, rideshare or have someone meet you.
- If, on the way to your car, you see that another vehicle has been broken into, call the police right away and do not approach your own car. Exit the car park and remain in that location until they arrive.
- If you are nervous when returning to your parked car, ask someone you trust to accompany you.
- If you are the victim of a crime while parking your vehicle, do not attempt to engage in any physical altercation or try to force your way into your vehicle.
- Before returning to your car, have your keys in hand to avoid fumbling through your pockets, purse or briefcase out in the open.
- When you arrive at your car, check inside carefully, especially the back seat to confirm there is nobody inside. Once inside, lock the doors immediately, and make sure that your purse, briefcase or other valuables are out of sight.
- If, once in your vehicle, you notice the windscreen or wheels are obstructed, do not get out to clear the obstruction. Immediately drive to the nearest busy area, police or service station before clearing the obstruction. Thieves often cause obstructions in the hope drivers will exit the vehicle with the engine running leaving an opening for an attack.
- Place valuables or any items that may be remotely of interest to a thief in an unseen area of your vehicle such as a car boot if you have a sedan. Two-seater vehicle, van, or utility-truck drivers may want to use under-seat storage or blankets to cover your valuables when you leave your car in the parking lot.