Parking isn't rocket science. Be it parallel parking, perpendicular parking, backing in or backing out. The process consists of just finding an angle, moving your steering wheel, and modulating the gas pedal. It's simple, really. Eventually, and with enough practice, everyone gets it right.
The problem? If you've driven around Philippine parking lots long enough, it's apparent that many drivers can't be bothered to learn how to park properly. Even worse, a lot of them simply don't give a damn anymore, leaving responsible motorists like you and me pulling our hairs out over bad parking jobs, or worse, damage to our vehicles as a result of them.
Here's an idea: Instead of just treating parking as a skill, let's look at it as a common motoring courtesy, too. Now hold that thought as we list down 10 parking courtesies every driver should always keep in mind.
1) Don't park like a clingy ex.
We're not chosen prophets, so we can't part our cars like the Red Sea to get inside our vehicles. Nor are we Victoria's Secret models skinny enough to squeeze in between them. If you notice you're positioned way too close to our driver's side, please adjust. With that in mind…
2) Mind the doors.
I still recall my first test unit with Top Gear Philippines. It was a shiny Soul Red Mazda 2. Great looks, great car. Not so great though was how the goofball parked next to me at a mall managed to ding its side opening his or her door. Come on, man.
3) Switch off your engine.
We don't even know why we need to remind you this. Your vehicle's fumes can be deadly. It doesn't help that many parking garages are either underground or enclosed spaces with little to no ventilation. We know it's hot, but what's a little sweat compared to a bad case of carbon monoxide poisoning?
4) Do not go against the flow of traffic.
You've been circling this garage for over half an hour, but this isn't a valid reason for you to disregard that one way sign the moment a slot opens up. If you run into someone coming from the opposite correct direction, you're going to end up red-faced.
5) Never take up two parking spaces.
For the love of the motoring gods, please assess your parking job after you step out of the vehicle. I kid you not, I've come across a Mitsubishi Mirage parked dead smack in the center of two slots. The funny thing is, the parking lot was nearly empty. We understand there are plenty of other parking slots available, but that isn't the point.
6) Give the PWD slots to those who need them.
Being an idiot isn't a disability. Okay, in a sense, maybe it is. But it's not one that'll permit you to park in PWD slots or block PWD ramps with your vehicle.
7) Do not block the driveway.
People shouldn't even need to put up signs regarding this. Seriously, it's common sense. If you do plan on doing so, ask permission from the homeowner and leave a contact number in case he or she needs you to move your ride aside for whatever reason. Speaking of blocking things…
8) Do note that you're not parked if you're blocking the damn road.
When parallel parking, ensure that you're positioned as close to the side of the road as possible. In addition, make sure your vehicle's ass isn't flaunting itself on the sidewalk when parked perpendicularly. Ignore the parking 'attendants.' If you're not confident you've made as much use of the space available to you as possible, readjust.
9) Lend a hand.
If you see that a newbie driver is having difficulty sliding into a slot, do help him or her out. It'll be appreciated, and it'll save you the time and trouble of having to watch him back in and out over and over again. Besides, all of us at one point or another couldn't park to save our life.
10) Be courteous to fellow motorists and parking staff.
It's important not to get frustration get the best of you. Finding a parking space can often be a stressful ordeal, but working in one is much more so. A little 'please' and 'thank you' is the least you can do for the security guards and parking personnel who watch over your vehicle.