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Avoiding car park fender benders

AA Car Insurance: Checklist for safe parking in car parks

Whether it’s a crunch, wallop, groan or bang the sound of your car crashing into another vehicle or object is a total misery for any driver.

Unfortunately, as many drivers discover, fender benders happen in car parks on a very regular basis. A recent AA car insurance poll reveals that 25% of drivers in this country have damaged their vehicles while parking over the last three years.

During the poll, of those involved in a car parking incident, 85% of drivers said they damaged their own vehicle, 18% admitted damaging someone else’s car, 4% said they drove over their own belongings or those of a family member, 4% admitted to driving over a pet/animal and 2% said they damaged public property.

Of the motorists who admitted to damaging 3rd party property while parking their car, 44% waited to talk to the vehicle’s owner/ property representative, 35% left a note on the car’s windscreen with their car insurance details, 12% left without telling anyone and 4% informed the Gardaí.

If you do damage to someone else’s vehicle and leave the scene, even if it’s in a car park, in the eyes of the law it’s still classified as a hit and run, warn the AA Car Insurance team. If an accident does occur take responsibility for your actions and speak to the vehicle/property’s owner.

Avoiding car park crashes!

To avoid car park fender benders and the hassle of a car insurance claim, we’ve put together the following motoring advice:

  • Slow down. It’s a car park not a race track!
  • Look out for distracted pedestrians.  They will be pushing heavy trolleys, lugging bags of shopping, supervising children, chatting on their mobile phones etc.
  • Be patient. Impatience will only lead to careless driving.
  • Turn off your car radio when in car parks. It’ll distract you and you won’t hear other vehicles.
  • Give reversing the car your full attention. Don’t be checking your texts, tuning the radio or programming your car’s SatNav when pulling out of your car parking space.  Check and check again that you’re clear to reverse your vehicle. And don’t forget to check if there’s someone about to pull out of the car parking bay directly behind you or else you could have a case of bumper cars on your hands.
  • Park your car in the centre of the parking bay. This will make it easier to reverse your car out when leaving and also will reduce the likelihood of the cars either side of you doing damage to your vehicle.
  • Don’t squeeze into a parking space which barely allows you to open your car doors just for the sake of being closer the shops. You’ll only end up scratching your car of those either side of you.
  • Use your indicators. Although not on a main road, you still need to let other drivers know which way you’re turning your vehicle.
  • Ask your children to be quiet when parking the car.

The AA also reminds motorists not block footpaths, be conscious of people with prams and buggies or wheelchairs, and respect disabled only car parking spaces.

AA Ireland Limited trading as AA Insurance is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.