Parking garages can be surprisingly dangerous. Drivers can be more focused on finding a spot than avoiding accidents, and pedestrians move in and out of cars far more freely than in the street. Moreover, some garages have obstacles you won't encounter in the course of normal driving.
If you stay mindful of these hazards, you can increase your odds of keeping your car, and the people around you, safe.
The risk of auto accidents in garages is alarmingly high. They seem like a relatively safe place because vehicles are moving at low speeds, but that might just encourage people to let their guard down, resulting in fairly frequent fender benders.
Parking garage accidents may seem like no big deal but actually, they can be fatal. According to the National Safety Council, parking garage accidents lead to hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries every year.
So stay alert while driving in a parking garage, no matter how slowly you are going. Be especially mindful of all the other vehicles and people in the garage, and don't let your attention wander.
The risk is greatest before and after standard work hours, before and after sporting events, and before and after concerts.
Parking garages that aren't cleaned and maintained regularly may have broken glass and plastic pieces scattered on the ground. This can damage tires and even scrape your paint if the tires kick this debris up onto the car as you drive through.
Brake dust and dirt can also get onto our vehicle if a parking garage is dirty. This makes your vehicle look dirty. Debris like this can also indicate that the garage isn't being cleaned and maintained, which can mean it's an unsafe place for you to park your car.
If the area is not being monitored, a dark parking garage is a prime area for criminal activity of all sorts. Try to park close to exits and lights in this situation, and practice general caution like keeping other people in sight.
Of course, one of the big dangers of the parking garage is dents and scratches in your car created by careless parkers. It's very easy to swing a door too wide and hit the car next door or to walk past a vehicle and scratch it with a piece of metal on clothing or an accessory by accident.
You can't always prevent this type of issue one hundred percent of the time but you can take steps to try to minimize this damage. First, park in a well-lit spot. If you can park at the end of the row so there's only a space on one side of your car, great! This cuts your risk for damage down by a lot.
Always make sure you park straight and within the line, staying right in the center of the parking spot. This way, you'll give your car as much room as possible on either side.
Believe it or not, parking your car in a garage during snowy days in the winter can cause more rust damage than leaving the vehicle outside! When you drive on icy roads, both ice and salt get into the wheels and crevices around the wheels. When you park the car in a garage, the heat of the engine melts the ice.
This actually increases the rust-causing capacity of the salt. This means that your car experiences more rust damage than if you left it parked outside after driving on snowy, salty roads.
However, parking on the street during winter days can also be bad, so the best solution is to use a snow brush to remove the snow and ice from your car, either when you get home or before you drive off.