With more cars on the road this time of the year, the Recreation Centers of Sun City West would like to share a few tips on parking lot etiquette that can be applied at any parking lot you find yourself in. When parking, keep in mind these five basic guidelines:

1. Obey Speed Limits
In most parking lots, speed restriction signs are displayed. Even in the absence of signs, you should maintain a maximum speed of 15 mph. Not doing so would be counterproductive. Pedestrians, particularly children and elderly, are common in parking lots and it’s imperative that you keep a close eye on the road and drive slowly. Vehicles backing out of spaces and vehicles driving down the aisle are two of the most common causes of parking lot accidents.

2. Park in a Courteous Manner
We’ve all come across drivers who think their vehicles are too valuable to park in a single spot, and they use two or more parking places. When parking your car, you should be considerate and follow the directional signs. Parking in the middle of a parking spot will make it easier for other drivers to get out of their vehicles and for you to get into your vehicle.

3. Don’t Hold Up Others Waiting for a Parking Spot
Do not wait for other drivers to walk to their cars, load up all their shopping bags, get in, turn the key, and drive out of the parking spot. If you decide to wait, you will cause a traffic jam that doesn’t need to happen. If you park farther away and walk the extra distance, it will take you less time. Waiting for drivers to get back to their cars is very frustrating for other drivers trying to park, and it causes delays all over the parking lot, not just where you are.

4. Don’t Forget to Use Turn Signals
In a parking lot, using turn signals can help you save a spot. Blinkers are used to indicate the intended direction of your vehicle to others. Do you want to park in a location that is empty but has vehicles behind you? All you have to do now is activate your blinkers. You will not only be safeguarding other vehicles by using your blinkers, but you will also be indicating pedestrians so that they can safely navigate the metal and concrete jungle.

5. Always Drive in the Right Direction
Some drivers appear to believe that once they reach a parking lot, regular driving rules no longer apply. Who cares if you drive along the parking lot in the opposite direction? Other drivers in the parking lot, in fact, are concerned. Each parking lot is different; some have a single one-way aisle, while others have two. You must pay attention as a motorist. There will be arrows pointing in the appropriate driving direction in most parking lots. Look at the way the parking stalls have been designed in parking lots where there are no arrows to denote direction.