If you are like most people, you have probably already heard travel advisories on the radio or television that cautioned drivers to be careful on their daily commute. Highway safety always seems to take a prominent position once the first snow falls. However, parking lot safety is often overlooked by the media as well as the people using these lots. Here are some pointers to help you stay safe in any parking lot.
• Watch your speed. If your vehicle is traveling more than about 10 mph, you are going too fast.
• Travel in the direction indicated by pavement markings or signs.
• Check in all directions before backing up. Take it slow when reversing; you never know when the car behind or beside you might decide to back out at the same time that you are.
• Watch out for pedestrians. They may be rushing to get inside or distracted by their thoughts. Be especially cautious if they are carrying large or numerous packages, are accompanied by young children or do not seem to be focused on their surroundings.
• Stop at crosswalks if pedestrians are present, and always obey “Yield” and “Stop” signs.
• Pay attention. Use your ears as well as your eyes to alert you to potential dangers.
• Running increases the risk of tripping or slipping, which could result in a fall. You could encounter a pothole, for example, or slip on a patch of ice.
• Do not assume that just because you can see a car, the driver has seen you. You may be in the driver’s blind spot.
• Before walking into a crosswalk, make sure that drivers are both willing and able to stop for you. It takes longer to stop on wet or icy pavement, and the possibility of skidding exists if the driver tries to stop too abruptly.
• When walking down the traffic aisle, watch out for cars with illuminated back-up lights and do not walk behind them. The driver may not see you.
• Repair potholes and cracks to prevent injuries to pedestrians and damage to vehicles.
• When winter weather strikes, use deicing agents as needed to eliminate slick patches.
• Parking lots without clearly defined spaces or with faded pavement markings are less safe; drivers can be confused or distracted. Have your lot repainted when needed.
• Proper lighting is important for nighttime safety, especially in the winter when dark falls so early. Make an inspection of your parking lot to locate lights that are not working and arrange to have them replaced promptly.
For quality asphalt repair and parking lot maintenance services in Wisconsin (Eau Claire, Plover, Waunakee, Kaukauna, LaCrosse), Minnesota (Oakdale), Michigan (Saginaw, Iron River) and Iowa (Dubuque).
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