In Alberta, the rules that apply to the road also apply to parking lots. Anywhere in the province, the rules for traffic, speed limits and road signs are applied in the same manner and demerits are automatic, even on private property.
According to Trent Bancarz, spokesperson for Alberta Transportation, the rules of the Traffic Safety Act apply anywhere a vehicle can be driven that’s accessible to the public, such as shopping centre parking lots. While you do have the same rights in a parking lot that you have on the road, safe driving gets you great Calgary car insurance rates, so it’s best to be very careful and polite regardless.
Parking Lot Etiquette: Tips for Being Nice
These days we’re all in a hurry, but while driving in a parking lot, it’s important to be polite and respectful at all times.
To avoid an accident, follow the simple rules of parking lot etiquette:
- Always yield the right of way to pedestrians
- Even if the lot has no posted speed limit, reduce your speed and yield the right of way to other drivers
- Follow the one way rule; it is safe to assume a lane is one way if angled parking spaces are marked in the same direction on both sides
- While waiting for a space to open up, leave enough room for other drivers to maneuver around your vehicle
- To avoid causing a traffic jam in a busy lot, pass up a space when a shopper has many bags or boxes remaining in their cart
- To alert other drivers of your intensions, always use your turn signals when pulling into a spot
- When entering a parking spot, pull as far forward as you can to allow drivers in adjacent spaces a better view when backing out
- Dents and scratches can be expensive to repair; once parked, use caution when opening car doors
- To avoid dents and scratches to your own vehicle, park further away from entrances in less congested areas
- If you drive a compact, park in the center of the parking space so other drivers can see your vehicle when looking for a spot
- Parking spaces are designed for you to pull in and back out, especially in one way lanes, pulling forward puts you at greater risk of an accident
- Never allow small children to push a shopping cart. A loaded cart could seriously damage someone else’s vehicle
- To avoid damaging other vehicles, always return empty shopping carts to designated areas
- Remember that other drivers, especially those driving vans and SUVs may not be able to see you as they back out of their spot; always yield to drivers pulling out of a space, even when leaving the lot
Practicing parking lot etiquette will help you avoid accidents and keep your Calgary car insurance rates low!
Calgary Car Insurance: Basic Information for Parking Lot Accidents
Remember that minimum damage for reporting an accident in Alberta is now $2,000 and to keep your Calgary car insurance rate low, it’s always best to pay for minor repairs yourself.
What to do at the scene of an accident:
- Pull over and stop; if you do not stop at the scene of an accident, you could be subject to demerit points and/or criminal charges even if you were not at fault
- Call 911 if anyone is injured or you suspect the other driver was driving impaired
- Never move the injured; you could worsen their injuries
- Never jeopardize your safety by standing between two vehicles or behind a vehicle to inspect damage
- Move damaged vehicles to the side of the road and away from oncoming traffic as soon as it’s safe to do so; failure to take reasonable precautions to prevent further damage to your vehicle may limit the amount your Calgary car insurance will pay
- Exchange information such as name, address, telephone number, and insurance company with all those involved in the accident and any witnesses at the scene
Bow Valley Insurance: Calgary Car Insurance at the Lowest Price
Remember that safe driving gets you great Calgary car insurance rates, and that working with a broker gets you the best coverage at lowest price!
At Bow Valley Insurance, you’ll enjoy the benefits of a brokerage including our Information Centre containing expert advice on how to protect your vehicle with deterrents for prowlers and more ways to save on insurance. Please request your free, Bow Valley car insurance quote today!