10 Tips for Parking Lot Safety
The parking lot can be one of the most dangerous places that we frequent. There are numerous ways for an attacker to approach unseen and just as many ways for them to get away without being noticed. It is also the place where most people have the lowest situational awareness and spend the most time checking their phone. The following ten tips from C.O.B.R.A. Self Defense Alberta can help to improve your parking lot safety and ensure your wellbeing.
- Park close to your destination, in a well lit stall if possible.
- This one should be common sense but people often park further away when the parking lot is busy. The biggest consideration when selecting a stall should be when you are planning to leave the destination. If you know you will be here for an extended period and may be exiting when the parking lot is more deserted, then take the time to find an appropriate stall.
- Avoid parking around blind corners on the sides of businesses.
- Remember, if you can’t see the front door and windows of a business, they can’t see you when you are moving to your vehicle. You should always strive to park in stalls with high visibility from surrounding shops and houses.
- Watch big vehicles that are blocking yours or parked near yours.
- These types of obstacles can provide an excellent spot for attackers to conceal themselves and approach unseen. If you notice a larger vehicle parked near yours, approach with caution and look to enter your vehicle swiftly. Pay attention!
- Move fast, keep your head up and carry yourself with confidence.
- Most criminals are looking for an easy target, don’t be an easy target! Criminals are less likely to attack a person that is confident, paying attention, and moving with purpose. It is easier for them to move on to the next person who has their head buried in the their phone and no idea what is happening around them.
- You are most vulnerable when you are entering or exiting your vehicle.
- This is usually the time when you are engaged in other activities such as: checking your phone, adjusting the mirrors, checking or fixing makeup, fiddling around with the seat belt or other objects. Be aware of your parking lot habits and work to change this. If you absolutely need to take care of one of these things then it is best to enter the vehicle, lock the door, and relocate to another area before completing your task.
- Be extra aware when loading a child or groceries.
- These tasks often require you to have your back turned for a significant period of time. This can allow an attacker to approach without being noticed. This is also one of the most common times for a criminal to steal items that have been left in the cart or front seat of a vehicle.
- Avoid pulling notes off windshields before driving away.
- There is always a chance that these notes have been placed there to distract you as you approach your vehicle. If you encounter this the best course of action is to enter your vehicle, lock the door, and then relocate to another area before removing the note.
- Use vehicles and carts as obstacles in the event that you are approached.
- Although most people approaching you in a parking lot will have no ill intent, you lose absolutely nothing by moving to keep a vehicle or a cart between you and another individual. This is a simple action that can increase the time you have to escape should the need arise.
- When in doubt, walk out with someone.
- This is another seemingly common sense tip. However, people often feel that they are imposing if they ask someone else to walk them to their car. Or they talk themselves into walking alone because they are being silly or paranoid. If you are working with others, plan to park in the same area so you can walk together. If you are there alone then ask a security guard or mall employee to escort you.
- Know and understand the anti-abduction techniques taught in the C.O.B.R.A. Self Defense System.
- We offer many courses containing important life saving measures you can easily learn. These anti-abduction tools could ultimately save your life. Check out our Upcoming Courses.
Parking Lot Safety should never be overlooked!
You are the most important person in the world and should take time to ensure that you are safe. Although parking lots can be a dangerous location that criminals often frequent, you can reduce the risk. Following the 10 tips that we have provided will make you less likely to be victimized.