Parking lots are not always the safest place to park. A lack of control over your surroundings contributes to the stress associated with parking for so many of us. So, instead of control, let’s shift that focus to prevention! Whether you have a little or a lot, even a small dent can be a big problem. Luckily there are some preventative measures you can take to save your car and your wallet from pesky dent repairs!
- BE MINDFUL OF ELEMENTS AND SURROUNDINGS
Stay extra diligent in watching for risky features in nearby vehicles and even high foot traffic areas. Cars with oversized doors will need extra caution and extra distance around them to keep from accidentally hitting yours. With vehicles coming in an ever-widening range of sizes now, think about the height of what’s parked next to the spot you have your eye on. Features that wouldn’t be a hazard on a similarly sized car as yours may suddenly be a significant hazard when there’s a Nissan Titan next to your Mini Cooper!
Even smaller personal items like purses or shopping bags can cause damage when worn carelessly around cars parked right in front of a store’s main entrance. Keep an eye out for where folks may be in a hurry and do your best to avoid when possible.
Is it windy out today? That can make even the most conscientious person lose control over the swing of their car door, not to mention the odd shopping cart left carelessly rolling about the lot that the wind will inevitably guide directly into your passenger side. (It was aiming for you).
- CHOOSE YOUR SPOT THOUGHTFULLY
Be sure to pick a spot where you won’t be boxed in. If your vehicle is blocked in, and someone else hits it and leaves, then there is no real way for you to get out without denting your metal. The biggest perpetrators of boxed-in spots are parallel and compact spots!
Do you need to use that compact spot? Could you fit in a regular-sized spot instead? Drivers tend to unconsciously cut closer to cars in compact spaces than standard, no matter the size of the vehicle parked there. It’s often worth the extra effort to park in a spot big enough for your vehicle or, ideally, one with some extra cushioning, even if it isn’t the closest spot available. Especially when parallel parking, if you are too close to another vehicle, it can be a straightforward way to get a door ding among many other potentially vulnerable spots on your car. Think of the extra daily steps you’re getting in anyway!
Speaking of those freewheeling carts earlier, did you check how close you are to a cart return? Maybe take even just one extra spot further down from it. See that minivan with all the stick-figure decals on the rear window? Kids are cute and can undoubtedly be responsible and thoughtful at any age, but maybe take that chance another day. Park one extra preventative spot further down there, too.
Don’t be afraid to take a little more space and prevent yourself from getting dented!
- MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR MIRRORS AND TECH
All cars come with side mirrors, so use them! Even if your car’s exterior design isn’t as sleek, or maybe your mirrors are a little smaller than you would like, take full advantage of what you have and look behind yourself before opening your doors.
Make the most of all the features your car has to offer. A backup camera and proximity sensors can be an excellent tool for any parking situation but are especially helpful in potentially tight spots where you might not have that full awareness with just mirrors alone. Again, being too close to other cars can leave you and your vehicle inherently vulnerable!
Of course, there’s no controlling who might decide to park beside YOU while you’re still inside the grocery store, but being proactive is always a plus, if even just a small one. By using these simple tips, you can help prevent the majority of parking lot dings that could have happened. But hey, sometimes accidents still happen! For all the door dings that DID happen, though, know you’ve got a solution like BodyGuard in Dallas, TX to turn back time on your vehicle with paintless dent repairs. Don’t let a small door ding become a big problem!