Parking Lot Safety

Parking lot safety is always a concern when you drive a car and must park the car in a private or public parking space whether your are out shopping, parking in the company parking lot, visiting family, friends and customers, or parking out on the street in front of your house.

Vehicle break-ins are common occurrences in some parts of the world and regardless of the thieves’ objectives, vehicle owners are affected by considerable degree of financial and emotional damage. Vehicle vandals may break a car window to steal the contents of a purse, documents left on the car seats, or some vehicle parts which can be sold in the black market of used auto parts.

As mentioned, the risk of vehicle break-in varies by location, the type of car you are driving, and visible items you leave in the car which can be screaming "take me". That being said, if your chances of a break-in is less because you park your car in a safe location but you often leave many valuable items in your car, then your overall risk is not much lower from a car owner who parks the car in a location with higher chance of vandalism but leaves no valuable items in the car. 

Below you will find a few parking lot safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Don’t leave valuable items such as documents, wallets, purses, cell phones and shopping bags in the car especially if you are not familiar with the location and must leave the car for an extended period of time.
  • If you must leave some valuables in the car, make sure that they are not visible through the windows.
  • Always close all windows and lock your vehicle doors whenever you leave your vehicle unattended. This applies to the times when you are filling up your gas tank and decide to enter the gas station store to buy items or visit the restroom.
  • Avoid walking to and from your car alone at night whenever possible. Get a co-worker, friend or security guard to walk with you to your car.
  • Park in a well lit areas with high pedestrian and car traffic.
  • Avoid parking close to large vehicles if possible, as it will decrease your ability to see the area around you.
  • Always have your keys ready when approaching your car and check the state of your car to make sure it is not broken into or damaged by another car. This parking lot safety tip is most important because if you notice that your car is damaged, you can file a police report and inquire from bystanders whether they witnessed anything. Such information will be very useful for police investigation and insurance claims.

Read other articles for additional parking lot safety tips.

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