Supermarket car parks can be hazardous for new drivers. Why should this be? A supermarket car park is public land, like the highway, and so traffic signs have the force of law. However, some drivers appear unaware of this, but the real reason is more basic – most drivers are concentrating on their shopping, dogs or children and many seem unable to drive properly at the same time.
Shoppers frequently drive into a parking space forwards; this is convenient for unloading trolleys, because it puts the car boot facing the outside of the space. But it also means that you have to reverse out. This can be tricky, as you often can’t see approaching traffic until you are well out of the space, and can put passing pedestrians at risk. It’s far safer to reverse into the parking space, so that you can drive out forwards with a better view. Better still, look for a double parking space that you can drive into and through to the front row, ready to drive out forwards.
The best advice is to stay extremely alert, and drive slowly looking through, beneath and around vehicles for pedestrians, children and dogs. Look out for reversing lights, and cars starting to move without warning. Be prepared for drivers having no regard for pedestrians, and then totally ignoring traffic as soon as they become pedestrians themselves, and watch out for abandoned trolleys. Despite these hazards, even the worst supermarket car park should hold no terrors if you’re a careful and observant driver.