Parking Lot SafetyParking Lot Safety

As today's malls and shopping centers get bigger and bigger, so do the parking lots. As a result, many shoppers end up walking long distances from their car to the store. This may seem like an everyday necessity, but few people realize the dangers that occur when you are walking through a parking lot, especially at night. Though it's good exercise, there are also many potential risks, including theft, assault, rape, and even kidnapping. Unfortunately, women especially are likely to walk to their cars alone at night, not realizing the dangers associated with this commonplace behavior.

Especially if you plan to be at the store past dark, park as close to the building as possible. This may mean circling the lot a few times to find a good parking space, but your safety is worth it. Once you park your car, get out quickly, lock your car, and walk directly into the store. Take note not only of where you parked, but also the lighting and any potential hiding spaces around your car. Look for people loitering outside the store; if they are still there when you come out, be careful.

Try to make most shopping trips during the day. If you must walk to your car at night, take advantage of any help that is available. Walk out with a group of people, or ask the store for an escort. Although this may seem silly, always remember that store security is there to keep you safe. If something seems wrong or dangerous, stay inside the building until you are able to find help. If you see someone suspicious, either in the parking lot or inside the store, alert security. It is always wiser to ask for a security escort than to walk alone into unknown dangers.

When approaching your car, be aware of anyone else in the parking lot. This is especially important if there are few other cars or people around. Be particularly wary of anyone who has parked next to you if there are plenty of other open parking spaces. Carry a stun gun, pepper spray canister, or personal alarm to thwart any potential attack.

If you're carrying a lot of bags, pay attention to how you load them into your backseat or trunk. Never turn your back to the rest of the parking lot for too long. Once in your car, lock all of the doors and drive away. Many people let their guard down once inside their car, and take time to reapply their makeup, check their shopping list, or make a phone call. You must realize that you are vulnerable in this situation. Essentially you're sitting in your car, alone and distracted. This makes you a prime target for any attacker.

Distractions are plentiful when shopping, especially when heading into or out of the store. It is too easy to become absorbed in your thoughts, going over your shopping list instead of thinking about what you are doing. Because we park in parking lots every day, it is too easy to believe that this activity is completely safe and nothing will ever happen. You can never be too cautious, especially when walking to your car alone at night.
by Richard Armen
References and Bibliography
Resist Attack has a full range of pepper spray to keep you and your family safe. Also check for current specials on tazer guns
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