Does your townhome have a parking garage or lot? Does your rental house have a shared driveway? Does your luxury apartment have underground parking? Or does your cheap apartment even have off-street parking?
Parking etiquette might seem like something that doesn’t need discussion, but there is a new social faux pas to address -- distracted parking.
It’s hard to park straight or decide on a spot when you’re focused on your phone instead of maneuvering your vehicle. You think to yourself, “No one is going to care if I take two parking spots. I’m going out in an hour anyway so it won’t be for long.” Or, you’re strong and fight the urge to look at your device while driving home, but as you pull into that parking lot or drive, the temptation to look is overpowering. You grab your device and before you realize it, you’re parked and walking into your apartment, without even remembering how you got there. You’ve just committed distracted parking.
Here are 10 guidelines to help you be a more focused, and polite, parker:
- Put your phone down. Be aware of your surroundings and drive slowly. Use your turn signals.
- Never, ever park in a handicap stall if you don’t have a handicapped permit.
- Only park where parking is allowed. Yes, you can park in a compact car space – if you indeed have a compact car.
- If you have an assigned spot, park there. Always.
- Stay between the lines and park straight. If you need to, get back in and adjust your vehicle. Pull up into the space as far as you can.
- Be nice. Avoid honking, unless it is to avoid an accident.
- Be a good neighbor. Don’t ever leave a note on someone’s windshield. As frustrating as bad parking etiquette might be, this is something for your landlord or property manager to address.
- Don’t open your car door and empty your ash tray onto the ground. Or other litter. Not only is that a dirty habit on multiple levels, you could be fined or sentenced to community service – probably picking up litter!
- If you have to park on the street, avoid parking in front of your neighbor’s home. Park in front of your rental house or apartment building.
- Even if you think it’s just for a minute, don’t block in another vehicle, a driveway, or even an empty parking stall.
Then go a step further and follow these guidelines even when you aren’t parking at your townhome or apartment. Stay focused and do your part to practice good parking etiquette. Make the world a better place and put a stop to distracted parking.
Written by Melanie Olsen