Are There Parking Lot Driving Rules?

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If you’ve driven in a parking lot lately, you may have noticed that people tend to completely disregard all road rules while driving in lots. Some people back out without looking, others cut across lanes, and many simply aren’t paying attention. Are there any rules that apply to drivers in parking lots, or is it really a free-for-all?

Parking Lots Have Rules Too

Well, that statement isn’t entirely true. Most parking lots have rules, but it depends on where you live. Some states consider parking lots private property, so the rules that apply on the streets might not apply in a parking lot. But, many states do have parking lot driving rules. What are those rules? They are the same that apply when you’re driving on a road!

Some rules to consider:

  • Stop signs: yes, you do have to stop at a stop sign in a parking lot.
  • Turn signals:  out of courtesy for other drivers and pedestrians, put your turn signals on.
  • Driving across lanes: lanes exist for a reason, so make sure to drive within them.
  • Abide by speed signs: it’s not a good idea to zoom around a parking lot, and you can probably still get ticketed.

Driving in Parking Lots

Can you drive in a parking lot if you don’t have a license? Again, this is up to the state laws where you live. In some states, you can drive without a license in a parking lot (and it’s where some parents bring kids to learn how to drive), and in other states you need a license in order to drive around a parking lot. Parking lots seem a a lot safer than roads, but the truth of the matter is that some parking lot drivers are entirely reckless.

Drivers that have rearview cameras tend to be safer when backing up — they can see if people and cars are behind them. On the flip side, drivers that don’t have rear view cameras may back out without seeing someone, and that can lead to a really bad accident. In most states, hitting a person in a parking lot is still considered reckless driving, and the case must be assessed as it would be were the accident to have happened on a road.

Hitting Parked Cars

Have you ever hit a parked car in a parking lot? Do you know what to do if this happens? The first thing to do is to write down the license plate number of the parked car. Then, take photos of where the car is parked, and where you were driving, so that you can make the claims you need to. Once that’s done, head inside of the store and ask the customer service person to read off the number of the license plate. When you meet the owner of the car, explain what happened, and file a report with your insurance company as necessary – this is the right and proper thing to do. Sadly, not all people follow these rules, and cars wind up scratched and dented after being hit in parking lots.

If you are worried about your car, make sure to park it away from the main store entrance, since few people park far away. If you are concerned about backing up into a person or another car while in a parking lot, consider purchasing a wireless rearview camera, so that you can see everything that’s happening in your blind spot. If this sounds like a good idea to you, contact Trail Ridge Technologies about a QuickVu backup camera today.

In the meantime, remember that there are rules in parking lots, and you can’t drive around lots at top speed. Be careful!