Regardless of whether in a suburb or urban area, street parking puts your automobile at risk. Because of this, you should always take extra care when parking your car on the street to ensure that a little damage and problems have the potential for developing. Below is advice on what you should and should not do when parking on the street.
Do: Park in the Direction of Traffic
Always park your car facing the flow of traffic, i.e. on the right side of the street. Parking your car facing the opposite direction makes it stick out more from other cars, making it more of a target to be hit. When all cars are parked facing the same direction, they create a type of protective barrier for themselves. A car that breaks that pattern also breaks the barrier.
Parking in the direction of traffic may also be required by state law. Most states permit police officers to issue drivers that have parked in the opposite direction from the side of the street upon which they are parked a ticket. This ticket may be in addition to a parking ticket, potentially meaning that you could receive two tickets. Most likely these tickets will require you to pay a fine.
Do: Park on an Appropriate Street
Do not park your car on a street where no other cars seem to be parked. Even if there are no signs saying that you cannot park on the street, there may be a rule that the other drivers are aware of. If a street is completely devoid of parked cars, there is probably a reason why. Take the hint from other drivers and steer clear of it. Street parking that seems too good to be true probably is.
Do: Fold Your Mirrors
If your car has mirrors that will push inwards, towards the driver’s window, always do this before leaving your vehicle. This will prevent your mirrors from becoming broken or dislodged due to being sideswiped from a passing driver.
Don’t: Not Pay the Meter
The best way to avoid parking tickets or worse punishment is to make sure that you abide by the parking rules for the street on which you’ve parked. Pay the meter or have the appropriate parking sticker for the street, and do not leave your car parked for longer than you are allowed. Many cities obtain large sums of revenue by issuing parking tickets, and have employed parking officers to enforce the rules so they can collect this revenue.
Don’t: Not Parallel Park
If you are planning on needing to park on a street in the near future but do not know how to parallel park, learn to do so quickly. Often, parallel parking is the only way you will be able to safely park in a spot without damaging your car or the other cars. Don’t wish for finding an extra large parking spot for you to be able to pull into and back up, because the chances of you finding this in an urban area are quite slim.