Five Tips for Good Parking Lot Etiquette

How many times has someone said to you, “Hey I saw you driving on Broad Street the other day. Tried to wave, but you didn’t see me.”? And how many times have you cringed in your mind wondering if you were singing, or talking to yourself, or worse … screaming at or gesturing at another driver? We know we should be on our best behavior driving, well, just because. And, because someone might see us. And that someone might be someone we will interact with in our business. You don’t want to walk in the office and find the prospective client you’ve been wooing for weeks is the person you just cut off in traffic.


The same rules apply to parking lots. I offer these suggestions for a more pleasant parking lot experience for all of us:


1. If the parking lot is crowded and you are leaving, go ahead and leave. If people are waiting for parking spots, the one you are in is no longer yours. This is not a time to check Facebook or figure out if your umbrella is under the seat or to count and see how much change you have in the console. Just leave.


2. If you’re walking to your car and you’re crossing in a crosswalk, you as the pedestrian have the right of way. But please do look first. And then get yourself across the driving lane. I refer back to point #1 and checking Facebook. Not the time to do it.


3. If you have a brand new, very sleek, very expensive sports car, OK, I’m jealous. But if you’re taking up more than one space, I’m also irritated. Don’t be that person.


4. Parking lots are not racetracks. And generally we’re backing out of spaces where it can be tricky to see. If I back into you, yes, it’s my fault. But if you’re barreling along, the property damage and perhaps personal injury can be much worse.


5. Finally, if I’m waiting for a spot to be vacated and signaling my intention, that space is mine. Don’t try to zip around me and snag it. Remember the scene from Fried Green Tomatoes? Enough said.