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How Can You Park Your Car Safely on the Street?

Our Cincinnati Car Accident Lawyers at Wolterman Law Office Represent Victims of Severe Parking Accidents

If you are driving in a busy urban area where driveways, garages, or parking lots are few and far between, it may be necessary to park on the street. Unfortunately, when left unattended, your vehicle is vulnerable to theft, damage, or vandalism. Before you test out your parallel parking skills in the first spot you find, there are some proactive steps you can take to reduce the risk of deliberate and accidental damage to your vehicle. If your vehicle is damaged while parked on the street, your auto insurance may cover the damage, depending on the type of insurance you have and who was responsible for the damage to your vehicle. A car accident lawyer will assist you with the claims process.

Part of being a responsible and safe driver is knowing how to park, whether that means pulling into a spot in a parking lot or parallel parking on the street. While there are certain risk factors associated with street parking that are not an issue if you are parking in a private garage or a parking lot, there are steps you can take to reduce those risks and ensure that you and your vehicle remain safe and secure including the following:

  • Choose the safest spot. You may be tempted to pull into the first parking spot you see or as close as possible to your ultimate destination. However, while this may be more convenient, it is not necessarily the safest spot because traffic is likely heavier, and there is a greater chance of an accident. However, you do not want to park too far away from your destination, particularly after dark, and you are in a poorly lit area where your safety is at risk. Always park in a well-lit area at night.
  • Be prepared to address parking challenges. The two main challenges of street parking involve parallel parking and exiting or entering your vehicle once parked. Many drivers are intimidated by parallel parking, although it is an important skill to master, particularly if you live or work in an area with limited parking options. Once you have successfully parallel parked your car, you must be extremely careful when exiting your car to avoid being hit by cars speeding.
  • Use your mirrors. While you should not rely solely on your mirrors, they can greatly help with parallel parking. Use your rearview mirrors, side mirrors, and rearview camera if your vehicle is equipped with one. Turn around and ensure it is safe to back out of a spot, as the rearview camera only shows a limited area behind the car.

How Do I Keep My Car Safe Once it Is Parked?

Once you have found a safe spot and parked your car, you want to make sure that your car and your belongings are safe. Before you leave your vehicle, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Secure your vehicle. Make sure that all of your windows are shut, your car is locked, and the alarm is activated.
  • Hide items that are inside the car. Someone is likelier to break into your car if they see loose objects in your wallet or purse or loose change. Keep all items secured in the glove compartment.
  • Pay attention to parking signs. Street signs will indicate how long you are allowed to park in a spot, whether a permit is required, whether alternate-side parking rules apply, and when street sweeping occurs.
  • Fold in your side mirrors. This will reduce the risk of your mirror being broken off by a motorist driving too close to your parked car.

What Should I Do if Someone Hits My Car While it Is Parked?

Like any other type of car accident, there are steps you should take to ensure that your legal rights are protected. If another motorist hits your car while it is parked, take the following steps:

  • Determine whether you need to move your car. If it is already in a parking spot and out of the flow of traffic, you may not need to move it.
  • Assess the damage to your vehicle. Take pictures of the property damage caused by the other motorist and any injuries you may have sustained.
  • Report the accident. Call 911 and notify dispatch that another motorist hit your parked car. If you suffered any injuries, let dispatch know so they can send an ambulance. The responding officer will fill out a police report, which may include information about who caused the accident. You can request a copy of the police report and send it to the insurance company as evidence.
  • Collect information. Get the contact information of the motorist who struck your vehicle, as well as their driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance. If witnesses saw the accident, ask if they would be willing to provide a statement to get their contact information.
  • File a claim. Ohio is an at-fault insurance state. This means that the driver found to be at fault for causing an accident is typically responsible for paying for the damages through their insurance coverage.

Our Cincinnati Car Accident Lawyers at Wolterman Law Office Represent Victims of Severe Parking Accidents

If you have been injured in a parking lot accident, do not hesitate to contact our skilled Cincinnati car accident lawyers at Wolterman Law Office. Our dedicated legal team will review the details of your case, determine who is responsible for causing the accident, and help you recover the financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 513-488-1135 or contact us online. Our office is located in Loveland, Ohio, and we serve clients in Hamilton County, Fairfield, Norwood, and Forest Park.