31st October 2016 –
According to a recent survey carried out by YourParkingSpace, more than one in three UK motorists have reported feeling unsafe in a car park.
The survey also found that 51% of female drivers reported feeling unsafe, with 23% overall saying that safety and security was their main concern when choosing a place to park their car.
“This time of year, when the clocks go back, is unfortunately a time that tends to see an increase in vehicle crime and burglary as criminals take advantage of the darker nights. It’s natural for drivers to feel nervous when alone in a car park but staying aware and following a few safety tips can really help you stay safe,” says Harrison Woods of YourParkingSpace.
Now, since figures from the AA point to around 20% of car crime occurring in car parks, here are a few safety tips that could help you minimize risk and enhance safety when parking in remote locations.
#1 Park in well lit locations – It’s well known that increased lighting in dark areas can reduce the fear of crime as well as reduce opportunities to commit such offenses, so try to park your car directly underneath the lights.
#2 Make sure there is traffic and surveillance – If you want even more peace of mind, try to find a parking spot that’s being monitored by CCTV or security personnel. In fact, if you live in the UK you can find a full list of accredited car parks by clicking this link.
#3 Plan ahead – If you have to park in an area that you’re unfamiliar with, it would be best to check out your options beforehand in order to not go looking around for a space in the dark.
#4 Keep objects in your car out of sight – It’s a well known fact that you should lock all valuables in the boot because even an old coat could be enough to tempt an opportunistic thief.
#5 Mind your surroundings – In a car park, try to familiarize yourself with the layout and all the exits, as well as pedestrian and vehicle routes and closing times.
#6 Stay alert – Don’t get caught up with listening to music, checking your e-mail or texting when walking towards or away from your vehicle. Be aware of what’s happening around you.
#7 Keep your keys in your hands – Try having your keys in your hand so that you don’t need to start looking for them next to your car.
#8 Don’t leave your keys in the ignition – Never do this when you’re outside of the vehicle. Not even to warm your car up or de-ice it.
#9 Report concerns – If you have any safety concerns or find that your car has been broken into, inform the car park management immediately and contact the police.
Of course, as Woods points out, “Not all car parks are dark and sinister places, in fact far from it, but taking a few precautionary steps can significantly reduce the risk of parking related crime as well as reduce the worry of being a victim in the first place”.