Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 14, 2012

Use caution in parking lot

THE ISSUE: Last-minute Christmas shopping.

OUR VIEW: Take your time while driving. You can avoid accidents and unintended repair bills.

There are just 11 days until Christmas. You can purchase presents online, but some packages might not arrive in time. You’ll have to venture out and mix it up with the other procrastinators.

Shopping locally will help area retailers. They, too, are affected by the sputtering economy and will appreciate your patronage.

And if you take a trip to one of Kokomo’s several malls, keep in mind these parking tips from The Fresno Bee’s Chris Collins. He compiled them with help from SmartMotorist.com and a Fresno, Calif., parking attendant.

• Pay attention to directions given by parking attendants, if they are employed at a mall. They know where there is open parking.

• Observe common courtesy. Avoid actions that may provoke other drivers.

• Allow pedestrians to cross in front of your vehicle. Pedestrians always have the right of way in a parking lot. Watch for small children.

• Always use your turn signals even when driving very slowly.

• Respect drop-off zones and no-standing areas; parking in them will increase general inconvenience.

• Always look carefully before backing out of a parking space.

• Don’t steal a parking space.

• Obscene or offensive gestures irritate other drivers. Be aware that any gesture may be misinterpreted by another driver.

The Christmas holiday, particularly this year, can put stress on anyone.

Take your time, even when doing some last-minute shopping. By using a little caution in parking lots, you can avoid accidents and unintended repair bills.