Parking is a very important aspect of a driver’s life. Whenever a person drives somewhere, they need to find a safe place to put their car while they are away from it. After all, no one wants anything to happen to their car while they are gone. This is especially true when a person is at home and may not need their car again for several hours.
If someone lives in a suburban or rural setting, then finding a good, safe spot to park the car is no big deal. However, in urban settings, many apartments do not have individual garages. This makes it so that a lot of people have to park along the street.
Parking on the side of a street isn’t always the safest place for a car. There are plenty of things that can go wrong, from the car getting hit by another vehicle, to someone breaking into the vehicle and stealing it. Luckily, there are tips out there to help a person avoid some of these less than desirable events.
Tips to Keep Your Car Safe While Parked on a Street
There are several things a driver can do to ensure the safety of their vehicle while it is left parked on the side of the road. Some of them are pretty obvious, but easily forgotten, while others require more thought.
For starters, finding the right spot is very important.
- A driver should park close to their destination and avoid rarely parked in or empty areas. This reduces the likelihood of the vehicle or the owner becoming a target.
- A driver should trust their instincts. If a parking lot or section of street doesn’t feel safe, then don’t park there and find somewhere else. Better to be safe than sorry.
- Try to park near street lights. The light will provide plenty of visibility during the night and reduce the chances of someone messing with the vehicle or its owner.
The next set of tips involve how a car is left at its spot.
- Activate the car alarm. Some cars don’t automatically have their alarms activated. Some need to have the lock button on the key hit twice to activate.
- Always lock the car. Locking a car can become so second nature that people don’t notice if they do it or not.
- Close all of the vehicles windows completely. Leaving windows open, even just a crack, makes it easier for crooks to get inside.
- Don’t leave valuables in a car. If crooks see expensive items in the car, they won’t have much of a problem with breaking a window to access those valuables.
- Use a steering wheel lock. While there are some crooks who know how to get past these locks, it is a deterrent. Why steal a car with a locked steering wheel when there is another car without a lock?
- Use the emergency brake. Sometime crooks will try to roll cars away to a more secluded spot to mess with them. Using the emergency brake makes it so they cannot do that.
Laws That Could be Broken
Aside from simply trying to keep a car safe from being targeted by crooks, a driver also has to make sure that they don’t get into trouble with the law. There are all sorts of parking laws throughout the state, with many of them changing from city to city.
Some of the big ones for a driver to be aware of are:
- Leaving a car parked for too long in a specified area.
- Parking in a no parking zone.
- Parking in front of a bus stop.
- Parking on a bridge unless a sign states that it is allowed.
- Parking on a sidewalk.
- Parking too close to fire hydrant.
- Parking within a crosswalk or intersection.
If a person parks in one of these areas, they could find themselves earning a ticket. This ticket would come with a small fine, dependent on which law exactly the driver broke by parking where they did, and no jail time. The vehicle could also end up getting towed.
In the event of parking too close to a fire hydrant, a driver could also come back to their car to find the windows broken because fire fighters needed access to the hydrant.
Finding a good parking spot can be a difficult task, especially in heavily populated areas. If a driver needs to park their car on a street, then they should follow the tips above. Doing so will help keep their car, and themselves, safe from crooks.
Following the above tips, and keeping local parking laws in mind, can also help prevent a person from getting a parking ticket too. No one wants to pay a fine because of where they parked.