Offensive Parking Stopping bad parking one schmuck at a time Wed, 11 Nov 2009 17:12:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to Stay Safe in a Parking Garage Tue, 02 Jun 2009 17:46:00 +0000 Many assaults are committed in parking garages because they are often dimly lit, poorly observed and provide countless places to hide. You can protect yourself in these situations with a little planning and common sense.  Here are some simple tips.  

  1. When you are bogged down with luggage or bags, you make a good target because you do not have any free hands.  It is generally better to make two trips than to be loaded down.  You could opt to pack everything in a rolling suitcase or shoulder-strap bag, including your briefcase and laptop.  If you have cash or expensive jewelry, do not put these in your purse, which is the easiest to steal.  Instead, hide them on your person or in your biggest piece of luggage.
  2. Keep a hands-free cell phone close so you can get to it quickly. Program 911 on speed dial and a contact number under the letters ICE (In Case of Emergency). Law enforcement officials are trained to look for ICE numbers.  Program your work number in a way that can be easily identified but do not identify your home number.  Anyone who sees your home number can go online and get your address with a reverse phone-directory search.
  3. Carry an air horn in your hand or hooked on a belt loop—not in a pocket or purse because you will not be able to get it out in time if it is needed. Air horns make an ear-splitting noise, and are not bulky or expensive. A whistle, as suggested by some, is not the best idea since you may not be able to get it into your mouth quickly.
  4. If you are traveling alone, call ahead to the hotel.  If valet parking is available, budget it in. If this is not an option, ask for an escort from the parking garage to the check-in desk. If they balk, tell them that you or a friend was mugged or assaulted in a place just like this. Remember, they are being paid to protect you. If they say that no security personnel are available, request a man—anyone—to escort you. Most places will comply with that if you give them a reason for your request.
  5. Always be aware of your surroundings.  Park in a well-lit space closest to your point of entry. Do not park in a crammed space next to a wall which leaves no clear exit. Try to park near other people as there is safety in numbers.
  6. Note your exact location and avoid wandering around when it is time to leave (see How to Find Your Car in a Parking Lot). Look around the area while driving, parking and before leaving your car.
  7. Make sure you can see, hear, run and scream. Avoid engaging in distracting activities while walking (eating as you walk, having music plugged into your ears, talking on a cell phone). Do not wear anything that someone could hold you with, and try to wear shoes that will let you run if possible. Tuck scarves, long beads, necklaces, long hair, braids and even purses if possible inside your clothing until you are inside.
  8. Avoid looking like a potential victim. Walk with your head up and shoulders squared, like you belong there are and are well aware of your surroundings. Look around occasionally as you walk, but do not overdo it or you may look scared. People who act scared are easy targets.

With a little planning and a lot of awareness, you can do a lot toward keeping yourself safe.
Additional Safety Tips

  1. People have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, making lists, etc.).  This is not a good idea.  A predator could be watching you and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head and tell you where to go.  As soon as you get into the car, lock the doors and leave.  If someone is in the car with a gun to your head, do not drive off.  Instead, gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car.  The air bag should save you.  If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it.  As soon as the car crashes, bail out and run.  Having a wrecked car is better than having someone find your body in a remote location. It is also likely to draw the attention of other people in the area.  Even if the bystanders do not come to your aid, an attacker will most likely leave because of the increased attention.  
  2. When getting into your car in a parking lot or parking garage, be aware.  Look around you when approaching your vehicle.  Always be sure to check your passenger side floor and back seat (including the floor) before getting in your vehicle.  Attackers will sometimes hide in the shadows of your car.
  3. If you are parked to the right of a big van or other large vehicle, enter your car from the opposite side of your car (e,g. the passenger door if your driver’s side door is adjacent to the van).  Many attackers will pull their victims into their vans while they are trying to get into their cars.
  4. Look at the cars parked on either side of your vehicle.  If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall or your office building and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.
  5. The elbow is the strongest point on your body.  If you are close enough to use it, do!
  6. If a robber asks for your wallet or purse, do not hand it to him.  Toss it away from you and run in the opposite direction.  Chances are, he is more interested in your wallet or purse than you and he will go for the wallet or purse.
  7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, always run (preferably in a zig-zag pattern). The predator will only hit you (a moving target) 4 in 100 times, and even then, it most likely will not be a vital organ. 

It is always better to be safe than sorry and better paranoid than dead.

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Parking Lot – Create a Caption #15 Sat, 23 May 2009 01:47:09 +0000 shopping_cart_car.jpg

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Valet Parking – Create a Caption #14 Sat, 16 May 2009 01:44:32 +0000 alternative_fuel.jpg

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How to Parallel Park Tue, 12 May 2009 19:42:42 +0000 Living in a big city where parking is scarce, parallel parking skills are a must. To parallel park successfully, you need a space about 4-6 feet longer than your car. Then, it’s all about timing!

For those that are experts, parallel parking can be accomplished with spaces only 30 inches longer than their car.  However, even if you can park your car without damaging it, remember that the person in front of or behind you might not be as skilled. 


  1. The key to parallel parking is to make sure your car can fit in the spot before you spend a lot of time playing tag the bumper with the cars in front of and behind you.  If you aren’t sure whether you’ll fit in the space, pull up beside it and size it up first.  After a little practice you will be able to judge just by looking at a spot.
  2. Once you’re sure your car will fit, use your turn signal to indicate your intention to park and the direction of the parking spot.
  3. If the space is not yet vacant but the car in it is about to leave, wait behind the spot with your turn signal on to ‘claim the spot’.
  4. When the space is vacant, pull ahead of it until you have pulled up beside the car parked in front of the space (the car you are parking behind), so that the rear bumpers of the cars are about even and about an arm’s length apart (approximately 2 feet).  If you hear scraping metal, you’re too close!
  5. Put the car in reverse. While looking over your shoulder (in the direction you are reversing), begin to back up slowly; as soon as the car starts moving, turn the wheel as far as it will go toward the curb.  Aim toward the rear corner of the space.
  6. Back slowly into the space.
  7. Reverse until the back of your car’s front door is even with the rear bumper of the car beside you; begin turning the wheel away from the curb.  Looking over your shoulder during this part of the maneuver may help you align with the rear car – or use your rear view mirror.
  8. Continue turning the wheel away from the curb and backing slowly into the space.
  9. Straighten out the wheel by turning it one revolution to the right.  Pull forward or back in the space as needed to center your car between the cars in front of and behind you. Your car should be 6 to 8 inches from the curb when you are parked. 

Tips & Warnings

  • Go slowly!
  • Keep looking all around the check for other vehicles and/or pedestrians.
  • If you are parking in front of store windows you can look at the reflection of your car in the window to see how close you are to the car behind you when you’re backing up.
  • Many cities will issue a citation for vehicles parked more than 18 inches from the curb.
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Parking Fun – Create a Caption #13 Sat, 09 May 2009 01:42:00 +0000 pool_parking.jpg

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Funny Parking – Create a Caption #12 Fri, 01 May 2009 17:40:11 +0000 roof_parking2.jpg

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How to Park Up & Downhill Tue, 28 Apr 2009 17:39:41 +0000 The task itself is simple, and certain precautions can ensure that your car will remain where you left it . . .and not several miles down the road in someone’s yard or “parked” in a building.


  1. Whenever possible, park perpendicular to the slope of the hill.
  2. If you must parallel park on a hill, park parallel to the curb.  Use your brakes gratuitously while accomplishing this.
  3. If you park on a street with a curb and your vehicle is heading downhill, you must turn the front wheels toward the curb. The front part of the front tire should be turned into the curb.  If you park your vehicle headed uphill, you must turn the front wheels away from the curb.  If you park on a street without a curb and your vehicle is heading downhill or uphill, you must turn the wheels toward the side of the road on which you are parked.
  4. Put the car in park. For manual transmissions, leave the car in the lowest gear.
  5. Set the parking brake.
  6. Lift your foot off the brake. If the car slips, park again closer to the curb and reset the wheels against the curb.
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Parking Joke – Create a Caption #11 Sun, 26 Apr 2009 01:37:30 +0000 envy_parking.jpg

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Bad Parking – Create a Caption #10 Tue, 21 Apr 2009 01:35:33 +0000 create_a_spot2.jpg

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How to Perpendicular Park Fri, 17 Apr 2009 01:36:31 +0000 To enter a perpendicular park space:

  1. When the driver’s shoulder is even with the painted line of chosen parking space, turn the wheel toward that space.
  2. As the center of the hood passes the center of the space (ever so slowly), straighten the wheels of the vehicle.

To exit a perpendicular parking space:      

  1. Check for traffic and/or pedestrians behind the vehicle before moving the vehicle.
  2.  Back up until the front bumper of the vehicle is even with rear bumper of the vehicle next to you.
  3. Turn the wheels sharply in the direction you want the rear of the car to go, with the wheels straight.
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