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Driving in parking lots: precautions and advice

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28/01/2016

Advice is normally given for driving in the city or on the highway, on short trips or long journeys. But it is not normal to talk about parking lots, especially when these are so common in shopping centers and the like.

In contrast to normal conditions, many drivers hide behind the fact that here there is little or no control and they take advantage to drive incorrectly, in many cases endangering other drivers and pedestrians. But we would like to remind you, and this is very important, that there is a high density of vehicles and pedestrians in these areas which increases the risk of accidents.

Driving in parking lots

The first thing we should take into account is that in the absence of specific traffic regulations, the general rules of the Traffic Regulations are applicable as regards driving direction, yielding, lighting and signaling.

This means that if the parking lot is underground we should drive with dipped headlights on, use indicators when turning, pay attention to the arrows and other signs regulating traffic direction as well as respecting all STOP and Yield signs placed either horizontally on the roadway or vertically at the roadside.

Another important aspect is the question of speed, which is always limited to between 10 and 20 km h depending on the characteristics of the parking lot. It is very important to respect this as the higher the speed the greater the danger of collision, or worse still, running someone over.

Many parking lots have horizontal signs in the form of pedestrian crossings. These should also be respected, both by drivers and by pedestrians, in order to cross safely and where we can be seen.

The pedestrian in parking lots

In the case of the pedestrian we shall start where we left off a moment ago: we should always move about along the routes signaled to this effect. We should also pay the same attention to our children as when we park in the street. This means observing where the traffic is and making sure they stay in safest area possible.

Because they are short in size and often like to run, they can suddenly appear from between two cars without warning without being noticed by a vehicle which is in fact driving along correctly. But really it is best to take them by the hand and lead them away from the most dangerous areas and make them understand that they should stay by our side or close beside the vehicle


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