Personal Safety: How to Be Smart When You Park

The best way to keep yourself and your loved ones safe is to be aware of your surroundings and avoid putting yourself in situations that could be potentially dangerous. The following checklist for parking safety contains a list of things worth keeping in mind when walking to your car in public parking areas:

Parking Lot Safety

  • Hide or remove your valuables when leaving your car.
  • Park close to your destination, especially if it's going to be dark when you return, even if it means waiting for a space to become free.
  • At night, try to park under a street light.
  • Leave your engine running until you've gathered everything and you're ready to get out of the car. Check your surroundings to make sure they look safe before you get out of the car.
  • If you're comfortable backing into parking spaces, it's a good way to park, because it means you can leave quickly if the situation becomes dangerous.
  • When you're walking back to your car, keep your keys in hand, so you can get into the car quickly or use them as a weapon if needed.
  • Always take the most brightly lit path to and from your car.
  • After you open the car door, check the front and back seats to make sure no one is hiding inside.
  • Lock your doors once you get inside the car.
  • If someone suspicious approaches you, honk your horn and flash the lights to draw attention.
  • If your sixth instinct suggests danger when you are parking or coming back to your car, leave the area until you're sure it is secure.

Source: Tom Patire's Personal Protection Handbook