Author Archives: safetyparkvalet
Author Archives: safetyparkvalet
Taking a driving test can be an exciting but stressful event in anyone’s life. So stressful, in fact, that you can forget even some of the basics when it comes to getting behind the wheel and hitting the road. There are also some things that people just are not aware of or don’t take into consideration when it comes to taking the road exam. Review some of the common things people forget when taking a driving exam and you will be well on your way to passing that test, and on the first try.
Rushing through a Parking Job-
This is usually in relation to the dreaded parallel parking that some states or areas require during the road test. The problem is that many drivers think they are supposed to attempt to have this mastered and be able to perform this quickly. The truth is that it is a much better idea to be safe, take your time and show that you grasp the concept as opposed to trying to hurry through it. Leave the appropriate amount of space between your car the cars in front and back of you, too. And, by all means, remember that if you are parking on a hill to use the emergency break.
Be Consistent with Braking and Accelerating-
The person administering the test wants to see a driver who is confident about his or her ability behind the wheel. Stomping on the brake or the gas pedal can demonstrate you may not yet be ready to be on the road. Learn how to gently accelerate from any stop, keep an even speed and pace while in motion and then be prepared to come to a gentle stop at signs or red lights. Obviously, if you are forced to brake for an emergency, this will not be held against you. But if you see the need approaching to brake, ease into it
Learn to Curve-
One of the keys to good driving skills is to learn to handle curves. This means slowing beforehand and, when needed, accelerating into the curve slightly to avoid sloppy or careless curve rounding. An examiner is not going to feel sure about your driving skills if you are jerky moving through a turn, lose too much speed or have too much speed taking the curve. Keep it smooth, gentle, steadily paced and make sure you do not cross the center line.
Master the Lane Change-
A very common mistake on road tests is to change lanes while going through an intersection. Not only is this not going to earn you any good points on your test, in most areas, it is illegal. So, don’t even consider it an option. Otherwise, remember to check the lane you are moving into with mirrors and by physically turning to look, use your signal and move steadily into the other lane. Again, the person giving the test wants to see fluent moves that are done with confidence.
The Light is Green, But Is It Safe Yet?-
You may be nervous while taking the exam, but use common sense when going through an intersection or accelerating from a stopped position. Other drivers may not be paying attention and, even though it feels like the whole world must know it, no one else is aware that you are taking a test. Check carefully before risking the safety of yourself and the examiner through an area someone could still fly through.
Know a Stick Shift if You Intend to Use It for the Test-
If you have not yet mastered the manual transmission, do not use it for your testing. In fact, if you are not 100% certain you are better with a stick shift, consider using an automatic. Grinding gears, stalling or coasting to a stop are not good methods to use to make a good impression during your road test. Even if you are usually fairly decent driving a stick, if you fear you may freeze up due to nerves on the driving exam, do not risk it.
Follow at a Safe Distance-
Obviously, you need to leave enough space between you and the car in front of you when driving in general, but it is especially important when you are taking your road test. The same holds true for making certain you are not being followed too closely. If someone is right behind you and you fear for the safety of yourself and the examiner, slow down slightly to allow more space between your car and the one in front of you. Make the test examiner know why you are backing off a bit. If you show confidence in your decision about this, he or she will appreciate your judgment call. Keep in mind during bad weather to back off even more from the car in front of you.
Better to Overuse than Under Use the Signals-
When in doubt, use that signal. You will certainly lose points for not using the signal when you should, but more than likely not have points taken off for overusing the signals. Again, even if you are not sure, make the decision with confidence and the test giver is bound to feel better about passing you.
Do NOT Ask for Advice-
While the person giving the test is not going to refuse to tell you what to do in a particular situation, especially if your or their safety may be in jeopardy, this is, in most cases, an immediate fail. The person administering the road test needs to know you will be able to handle yourself when it comes to being a licensed driver on the open road. Since, in real life driving, you will not have someone with you to help make important decisions about what to do. Study your manual and know the rules well enough to avoid needing input. Of course, if an emergency arises, do ask, but know it may mean you will have to take the test again.
Only Use a Roadworthy Car-
If the car wouldn’t pass state inspection or is obliviously a hazard, do not use it. This also, in most cases, will be an immediate fail and you will not be able to take the test, anyway. Also, take a few moments to clean the car out. Show some respect to the person who will be administering the test and don’t expect him or her to sit on fast food wrappers while giving the road exam.
According to eNatis, in August last month there were a total of 124,676. Self-propelled used vehicle registrations and a total of 48,115 self-propelled new vehicle registrations in South Africa. This is a substantial number of extra vehicles on already congested roads particularly in the big cities. This extra load can put more pressure on drivers – especially beginner drivers who may either lack the confidence or the experience to manoeuvre their way in and out safely and efficiency.
Statistics in the UK show that 1 in 6 drivers who hit a parked car do not bother to leave their contact details. In this article, we take you through the steps of the fundamental art of parallel parking and reverse bay parking. After all, if a road user lacks the ability to park properly, they really shouldn’t be driving on the road!
Parallel Parking – Step-by-Step
1. The space between two cars (Car A in front, and Car B at the back) should be a few metres longer than your car.
2. Pull up parallel alongside Car A and in line and as close as possible.
3. Line up the back of your car with the back of Car A.
4. While at a stop, turn your steering wheel all the way to the left (if you are parking on the left hand side, or all the way to the right (if you are parking on the right hand side).
5. Put your car into reverse gear.
6. Turn your head inwards to look out the back of your car and start reversing slowly towards Car B, keeping your wheel still.
7. When the front corner of Car B is exactly in the middle of your windscreen, stop reversing and turn your steering wheel back to the normal position.
8. Continue reversing until your car has just passed Car A.
10.Turn your steering wheel fully to the right (if parking on the left hand side of the road).
11. Continue reversing slowly towards Car B keeping the wheel in position.
13. Your car should be parallel or almost parallel with Car A and Car B.
14. Now move forward slowly while turning your wheel back to the normal position.
Reverse Bay Parking – Step-by-Step
You will be parking in Bay 2 between Bay 1 and Bay 3.
1. Move your car forward to line its back up with Bay 3.
2. Put your car into reverse gear.
3. Turn and look out the rear window.
4. Check for pedestrians, cyclists, other vehicles, etc.
5. Once clear, slowly reverse while turning the steering wheel fully in the direction towards your parking bay.
6. Keep glancing in your wing mirror on the side of the parking bay until you see Bay 2’s first line appear.
7. Use this line as a guide to reverse into the bay.
8. At the same time while moving, look to the wing mirror on the other side to find Bay 2’s second line.
9. Now use both rear mirrors to reverse evenly between the two parking lines.
10. Moving very slowly and check through rear view mirror to gauge the distance behind you.
11. One you are far enough and the two lines look parallel on each side, move forward slowly while straightening up the steering wheel.
By following these steps and practicing them often, you will notice that it’s not so difficult after all. The most important rule to apply first and foremost is: Take it slowly.
It is almost inevitable that once you start driving, you will need to park. Most people drive in and back out. However, once you master the art of backing in, you will find it is much more convenient to be able to pull right out. This is a learned skill, and will need a lot of practice off-site in a remote location. Once you have practiced, and learned the skill, you will be able to park almost anywhere.
Drive your car past the open spot– As you are doing this, turn your turn signal on so that cars behind you know to drive around. The open spot should always be on your right. Never park crossing over to the other side of the street. Your bumper should cover half of the end of the parking space.
Put your car in reverse– Turn your wheel all the way to the right before you begin moving the car. Press on the gas gently as your car begins to turn. Because your wheel is all the way to the right, your car will move left when it is in reverse.
Adjust your car- Switch between forward and reverse, moving a few inches at a time. Turn your wheel either way. You want the space on both sides of your car to be even. Once your car is safely backed into the space, put your car into park and turn off the engine.
Get out of your car– Open the driver’s door slightly to see whether there is enough room to get out. You may have to hold the door only slightly open as you get out. Make sure not to sling the door open, otherwise you could damage the car behind you. Once you are out, lock your car and you are good to go.
Exit your parking space– Turn your car on and put it in forward. Go forward slightly as you press on the accelerator. As you begin to creep out of your parking space, tilt your head forward to make sure there are no cars or pedestrians coming by. Continue out of the space straight until your bumper is fully past the cars on either side.
Find an empty parking spot- Make sure that the space is big enough to hold your car. It will have to be at least 25% longer than the length of your car. You will also want to check for fire hydrants, yellow edges on sidewalks, or handicap signs as to why the space might be left empty.
Turn your blinker on to the right- This will allow other cars behind you to drive around. Pull up next to the car in front of the empty spot. You want to be as close to the other car as possible, not more than 12 inches (30.5 cm) away. Ensure that the front of your car is the same distance from the car next to you as the back of your car (don’t slant your car at an angle). Your bumper should line up directly parallel to the car next to you
Put your car in reverse- Start backing up slowly until your head is parallel with the wheel of the car to your right. Press on the brake and hold your car steady. Turn your steering wheel as far as it will go clockwise. Look over your left shoulder as far as you can and start backing up again. Keep backing up until you can see the front wheel of the car behind you in your right mirror.
Turn your wheel all the way counter-clockwise– Do this while maintaining your foot on the brake. When it has moved as far as it will go, begin backing up again slowly. Glance from front to back to ensure that you are not going to bump the car in front or the car in back.
Continue to back up until you are parked- If you either bump into the curb, or get too close to the car in back of you, turn the top of the wheel to the right again and pull forward slowly. Steer your car into the proper position.
Exit your vehicle- Leave space in front and behind to allow yourself and the other people to get out of the parking spots. If you park very far forward or back and another car parks very close to you, you will be too tight to get out of your spot, so don’t forget to leave that space. If done correctly, you should leave no more than 12 inches from the curb to your car.
There are no limits to the ideas and ways to transform a parking space. Though the concept of a 9’x18’ park is simple, the sheer number of options and ideas can often leave you overwhelmed or worse, in over your head. It is good to remember that your park can be as simple as a place to sit, read, talk or relax.
Site Constraints-Dimensions. The dimensions for a typical parking space are 9 feet by 18 feet. If you are planning two spaces, you should plan for 9 feet by 40 feet. When you are considering ground cover that equals 168 square feet and 360 square feet, respectively. (*note: If you are planning to use sand, gravel, or other loose materials, you will need to use a liner to allow you to remove these materials easily.)
Cant. The street is not a flat surface. Streets are designed and constructed with a curve (called a “cant”) to allow stormwater to drain quickly. If your idea requires a flat surface or if you have vertical structures, take the slope of the road into account and plan to bring some material to make onsite adjustments and to allow you to level or anchor your structure(s).
Curb Height. The curb varies between 6 and 8 inches above the level of the street. A seamless transition between the curb and your park is not necessary, but it can be used to the advantage or your park design.
Barriers. it is highly encouraged to incorporate a barrier between their park and the street. And, if your park is next to a parking space not designated for park(ing) Day, to add a barrier between your park and the space next to you. This increases your visibility to drivers, and helps visitors to your park feel safe.
Programming-Activities. Plan some type of activity in your park. That can be as simple as providing seating, books, arts & crafts, or board games. Plan for people to use your park, and give them something to do or talk about while they are there.Handouts there are restrictions for any signage, food, or promotional materials that can be distributed at park(ing) Day.
Materials- Cost. Creating a park can take both time and a money. The good thing is, you get to determine how much time and money you are willing to invest in your park . Set your budget early, to help you make good decisions in the planning and building process.
Recycle and reuse. Ways to reduce cost and make building your park easier are to use materials you already have sitting around, look for salvaged materials, and ask for donations. Since this is a one day event, have a plan for your materials after the event is over. Either reuse the materials or structures for something else, or plan on returning them to the original donors.
Think light. Large or heavy structures will be difficult to set-up, and even more exhausting to take down. We advise only using parts that 2 individuals can lift.
Setting Up Your Park- Transporting your park. To make set-up easy for you and your neighboring park, plan to bring all of your materials in one car/truck load. The street will not be closed before, during or after the event and there will be normal weekday traffic.
Unloading. Do NOT block traffic to unload your materials. Pull into a parking space adjacent to your assigned park, and get your materials out of your vehicle as quickly (and safely) as possible. Once everything is unloaded, move your vehicle so that other park can unload as well.
Assembly. Once your car/truck is stored elsewhere, begin assembling your park. Practice assembling your park before the park(ing) Day. This will let you know how many people and what tools you need to bring with you.
Taking Down Your Park- Disassembly. Practice this before the event as well! You should consider incorporating storage for the tools you need to disassemble your park into the park design so that you have what you need on hand for repairs throughout the day.
Loading. To reiterate, Main Street will not be closed to traffic during or after the event. If you are using a vehicle to transport your materials away from the event, you may need to pull into your own parking space to load materials. You can also coordinate with your neighboring park to make loading easy. Do NOT block traffic to load your car/truck.
Clean-up. Leave no trace of your park in the parking space. Bring shovels, brooms, gloves, trash bags and whatever else you may need to pick up after your park.
A lot of people take driver education classes, but fail to bother learning. This is something that everyone should take the time to learn, especially parallel parking, which can be pretty tricky sometimes. There are all kinds of little things that many people tend to forget when they are parking their vehicles, and some great tips to remember.
Always signal before pulling into a space: This will let other drivers know your intentions, and will prevent accidents with others who may want that same parking space.
Know the size of your vehicle: Make sure that the front or rear of the car is not jutting across the line for the parking space.
Find out about snow removal: Living in Ontario, you know you are going to face parking in snow sooner or later. Make sure that you pay attention to snow removal announcements, so your car isn’t towed for being parked on the wrong side of the road.
Get a parking pass: It can often be extremely difficult to find parking spaces, especially in larger cities. But, there are usually plenty of parking lots and garages where you can pay to park. You can save a lot of money, and always have a parking space, if you get yourself a parking pass.
Check the height restriction: If you drive a truck and want to enter a parking garage, make sure that the ceiling is high enough to accommodate your truck.
Know where you can park: Wherever you live, it is a good idea to learn about where you can and cannot park your vehicle. This could end up saving you a lot of money. If you don’t pay attention, you may end up parking where you are not supposed to, and your vehicle may be towed.
Parking for Your Own Personal safety
When it comes to parking, you don’t just have to worry about your car getting dinged. Statistics show that many people are attacked just getting into their parked cars, often because they did not follow some simple precautions before parking. Here are some tips to keep you safe, no matter where you park:
Always park in a well-lit area: Many kidnappings and robberies have occurred when someone is getting into their car in an area that is not well lit. Whether you are a man or a woman, it is a good idea to always park in an area where there is lots of lighting, or at least a street light or two. If you do have to park in an unlit area, find someone, such as a security guard or a police officer, to accompany you to your car and make sure that you leave the area safely. You may feel like you are being paranoid, but it is a lot better to do this and be safe rather than risk being attacked in the dark near your car.
Use your remote: If you are going to your vehicle, and the area you parked in is dark and lonely, instead of waiting until you get to your car to get the doors open and the engine started, use your remote starter. This will do a few things for you. It will provide light so you can see your way to the vehicle, and if there is someone waiting, it may just be the thing to scare them off and you avoid being attacked. Remember to have your keys in your hand at all times, too, because if someone does try to attack you as you are getting into your car, they can make a really great weapon.
Try to park in safe neighbourhoods: You may just be asking for trouble if you park your vehicle in areas that are not considered safe, especially if you park your vehicle there overnight. There are so many things that could happen, from having your vehicle stolen to arson and more, and it may not even be safe for you to walk to your vehicle. Instead, find a place that is near your home, and well lit.
Park as near the stores as possible: The further away from a building you park, the more you are taking a risk of something happening to you or your car. Unless it is a holiday season when all of the far spaces are filled, too, chances are that these spaces are going to be empty. This means that when you come out to get back in your car, you will probably be all alone. If you have an armload of packages, you may or may not be able to defend yourself in case of an attack. Even if you have to drive around the mall a few times, try to find the closest space possible, especially if you are there at night. If you are using a parking garage, if at all possible, try to park close to the security area or the doors.
Look inside the car before getting in: There is an old urban legend about a woman who drove for miles not knowing that she had a killer hiding in the back seat of her car. Okay, this is an urban legend, but things like this can happen, so it is really a good idea if you just take a look inside the windows before actually getting inside your vehicle to make sure that there is no one inside. If you see something unusual, don’t even open the door. Scream as loud as you can and start running away.
Always have your cell phone: When you park in a dark area and are walking to your vehicle, have your cell phone out and ready to go. You may have to call 911 quickly if you see someone lurking near your car. Then, you should start running as fast as you can, preferably back to the store or the nearest place that is open and safe.
You can do a lot more to insure your safety, and the safety of your vehicle, when you are using common sense while parking your vehicle.
Dings and dents may not seem all that scary or stressful in the context. But, the fact is, collisions in parking lots are among the most common accidents fleets experience and can cost a company more time and money than fleet managers may realize.
Parking lot accidents are the most common way fleet vehicles are damaged, according to research conducted by PHH Arval. In 2012, around 20 percent of fleet accidents occurred while parked or during parking. Basic defensive driving can help minimize collisions in these situations.
Parking lot dings may not cause many physical injuries for the parties involved, but they do create a loss of time and, more important, expsnese that can add up in the long run. The minutes spent filing insurance claims and the hours lost on out-of-service vehicles can impact the company’s bottom line.
Even though parking lot accidents are common, they can be avoided if drivers are easy on the accelerator pedal and drive slowly. Beth Stamer, director, global, health safety and environment at Eli Lilly said the pharmaceutical company trains drivers to remain calm and be observant when they enter a parking lot or structure.Drivers must also pay attention to all vehicles, obstacles, and pedestrians surrounding their vehicle.
At home base, decorate company parking lots with helpful signs reminding employees to buckle up and drive safely. Maintaining the company lot is a way to help “practice what you preach” to drivers. Keep pavement clear of debris and ice or snow. It can help remind drivers that the company cares about their safety.
Stamer advised drivers that, whenever possible, Employees should ‘pull through’ to the opposite space so they can drive forward out of the space instead of backing out when leaving. This reduces time spent backing up; however, ensure that driver’s are aware of vehicles pulling into the same spot headfirst.
Telematics systems are changing the way fleets operate, even affecting parking lot movements. According to a telematics study, its product’s best attribute has been in modifying driver behavior, say their customers. This can help drivers be held accountable for navigating lots more carefully.
A few tips can help drivers navigate lots more safely. When it’s windy, drivers must use care so the door doesn’t hit the vehicle next to theirs when they exit the vehicle. When deciding on a new vehicle for the fleet, test its safety features thoroughly, such as checking its blind spots, which can contribute to a parking lot or traffic collision.
Once a fleet vehicle has been selected, it is likely there are still places behind the truck or van the driver can’t see using mirrors. Many companies sell backup camera systems drivers can use to make sure nothing is behind their vehicle. It can help fleets avoid small collisions, such as a bumper ding or major tragedies if someone happens to be hidden from the driver’s view.
Ensure drivers are aware of the proper use and way to adjust side- and rear-view mirrors. Drivers need to know they must use their mirrors for every move they make. Double-checking blind spots before putting a foot on the accelerator may take a few extra seconds, but it will help productivity in the long term.
It isn’t just collisions that can make parking lots dangerous. When drivers exit their vehicle, they should be wary of unknown individuals around and strangers in nearby cars. Drivers should always lock vehicles and keep any valuables out of sight. This may seem like an easy idea to enforce, but when it isn’t their property, drivers get lazy and forget to act smartly. Parking in a well-lit area is one of the best ways to avoid issues.