Speed and safety
Speed and safety
As with all other areas of driving, safety is always paramount when you are driving your car in a parking lot in Alaska. This applies not just for your safety but for the safety of all other drivers and pedestrians that are in the same parking lot as you.
There are several steps you can take in order to maximize safety when you are driving in a parking lot:
- Keeping it nice and slow – You should always drive very slow in any parking lot in Alaska. Never exceed 15 miles per hour in a parking lot for any reason. You never know if a car or pedestrian might pop out in front of you suddenly.
- Signal your intent – It is very important to signal when you are driving through a parking lot and you intend to turn or pull into a spot. Doing either of these things without signaling will not give any warning to the vehicles and pedestrians near you which will minimize their ability to react to your maneuver. That means that there will be the highest chance of a collision with a vehicle or pedestrian.
- Focus and stay on the lookout – As we said, cars can shoot out of a space suddenly as can a pedestrian. If you are distracted by your phone, the radio or a conversation, you could lose a critically important moment or two that you could have used to react quicker.
- Park with precision – How you end up parking will affect the safety of yourself and others as well. For example, if you park somewhere with a restricted view in one or more directions, you end up being much more likely to get hit by an oncoming car as you pull out or potentially hitting a pedestrian.
There is also the hot button issue of courtesy when it comes to parking lots both in Alaska and just about anywhere else parking lots exist. Most people do their best to remain courteous to other drivers in a variety of ways but there are definitely those who do not do so. The main issue with not being a courteous driver whether you are in a parking lot or in traffic is that it leads to aggressive driving and even road rage sometimes.
Driving in a courteous manner in parking lots will start with giving pedestrians the “right of way” in all instances. You should do the same for other drivers whenever it is possible as well. For example, if you see someone backing out of a space, do not speed up in an effort to pass them before they can completely pull out. Instead, stop and give them the room that they need in order to complete backing out.
Another integral part of parking lot courtesy in Alaska will be parking. We mentioned that you need to park a certain way in order to maximize safety but you will also need to park in a fashion that takes into account the cars parked next to you as well as pedestrians in the vicinity. When you park, you should do so equidistant from each of the painted parking lines in your space. Doing this will ensure that you give enough space to each of the cars next to you for the passengers to get in and out of the car with relative ease.
You should also make sure that you pull far enough into the space but not too far. Pulling too far into a space can cause you to partially enter the space in front of you which can prevent another person from parking there. If you do not pull into a space enough, you can partially impede the traffic that will be driving by in the parking lot.
Finally, parking lot etiquette does not end when you get out of your car. It will include watching how quickly and far you open your door when there is a car next to you so that you do not ding or scratch another vehicle. It also includes returning a shopping cart that you used to the store or to the designated cart return so that it will not roll into a nearby car or block someone else from entering a parking space in the near future.
Proper parking lot etiquette in Alaska includes taking both safety and courtesy measures for your own good as well as the good of all other drivers and pedestrians in the lot. You should always drive slowly, stay focused, use your turn signals, give the “right of way” to other drivers and pedestrians, park correctly and be mindful as a pedestrian yourself. If you ever need your car moved to or from Alaska, you can easily set up its transport by calling us at (907) 331-3100 anytime!