Supermarket Car Parks and Multi-Storeys Can Cause Hundreds of Pounds of Damage, Says GEM Motoring Assist
It is unlikely to result in a write-off, or major damage, but the cumulative effect of collecting scratches, dents and dings and dongs from careless fellow users in public car parks can really devalue your car says GEM Motoring Assist (GEM), the road safety organisation that has worked for the benefit of all road users for 75 years now.
Formerly known as the Guild of Experienced Motorists, GEM says that parking with a little more thought and care rather than rushing into a vacant space could save your shiny pride and joy having its body work abused.
Chief Executive of GEM David Williams said: “We have seen research that 30 to 35% of company car insurance claims arise from parking incidents, but many people do not bother to report the minor dents and scratches that come from doors being opened into your vehicle by a neighbouring parked car driver or passenger or scratches from carelessly pushed shopping trolleys.”
GEM member and driving expert Richard Butler claims people miss ways of making matters easier. “For instance you are much better off reversing into a space rather than going in forwards,” he said. “When it is time to leave you can do so quickly and safely with much better visibility.”
He explained it is also better for personal safety as multi storey car parks can be tempting for criminals and being able to put items in you car and drive straight off has a real crime avoidance advantage. “If you drive slowly when looking for a parking space it will give you an extra few seconds when you spot a gap to signal to any following car, drive past the space and reverse into it,” he explained.
Correctly adjusting interior and exterior rear view mirrors will also help the reversing procedure. “If you point the passenger side mirror slightly down to the ground it is easier to judge your position as you will be able to see the parking bay white line,” Richard recommends.
A £300 investment spent on fitting reversing sensors could also help to avoid hitting steel or concrete posts, or even pedestrians, children and push chairs that suddenly appear behind you.
He also recommends that you should avoid parking next to a vehicle “well over” on the driver’s side as there will be a strong chance that the driver will make contact with your car. Similarly if the passenger side is too close for comfort, the person getting into that seat may be less considerate. Try to park next to a smart looking car rather than an “old banger” and try to park way from the trolley parks in supermarkets as they can overflow at busy times and cause a hazard.
David Williams added; “Following these simple guidelines could help you keep your car looking pristine and ensure the safety of pedestrians, especially children rushing back to their own car.”