Parking Lot Safety

parking lot safetyIf you’re not done holiday shopping at this point then chances are you are or will be dealing with full parking lots, crowds of shoppers, long lines and scarcity of patience while you make last minute gift purchases. You may also find yourself with much on your mind and spending more time inside the stores than you would under normal circumstances.

Recently I saw a woman meandering around a large parking lot looking for her car.  It was cold and snowy and she was attempting to push a shopping cart through inches of slush and snow up and down aisle after aisle as she looked for her vehicle.  It’s easy to see how she became discombobulated.  At the time she entered the store she was probably rushing to get inside and thinking about all she had yet to do that day.  She likely didn’t pay any attention to where she parked before entering the shopping center.

Failure to pay attention to where you park can make you easy prey.  All that was on the above woman’s mind was locating her vehicle, unloading all the presents and getting to her next location.  Do you think she had “domain awareness” at that time? Was she aware of her surroundings?  If any unsavory characters had been lying in wait in the parking lot looking for someone to rob or abduct, this woman would be a prime target.  You cannot possibly be aware of your surroundings and keeping your personal safety at the forefront if all you’re thinking about is “Where is that #(*%*# car?! … I thought I parked over here!”

The good news is that there is a quick and simple fix.

  1. Just stop and slow down to determine where you are parking.
  2. Write it down on your hand or a piece of paper so you can later find your vehicle after you’re done shopping.  Think you’ll remember without writing it down? Well perhaps. Yet I surmise all those wanderers of the parking lots also thought they could remember.
  3. I always try to park next to a light pole. It’s a good reference point but also provides extra light should it be dark when I leave the store.  Not only pay attention to what aisle you’re in, but stop to look at the proximity to the actual store.
  4. Find a landmark or signage on the building as a point of reference.
  5. Stop and say to yourself, “Okay, I am parked directly in front of the “T” on the sign on the side of the building.”
  6. Then once again, before you actually enter the store, stop and turn around looking toward the parking lot.  This will give you a point of reference as to the location of your vehicle as you exit the building.
  7. Lastly, once inside, stop again to determine from which door you’re entering the store, to ensure you exit from the same door.

Everyone is busy. It seems there is not enough time in the day to do the bare minimum; yet by stopping for a mere few minutes you can save yourself frustration and protect yourself from possible harm.

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