From finding a spot to keeping both you and your car safe, parking in a city is never easy. 2020 has made things even harder, as people across the country now have to worry about a higher national rate of car break-ins.

Whether you live in a city and are thinking about getting a car or already have one and plan on traveling to a city soon, safe parking and driving should be your number one concern. Luckily, there are some big-city parking tips that can make it easier.

Keep reading to learn about seven tips that will help you practice safe parking in big cities.

1. Keep Your Valuables Out of Sight

One rule you might be familiar with is to keep your valuables out of sight. Most car break-ins occur when thieves see something of value. This can range from anything from a wallet or expensive-looking bag to a camera or tablet.

Make a point to stow these sorts of items in places where people outside will have a hard time spotting them. If they fit, you can stow things under the car seats or in the glove compartment. You can put larger items in the trunk in the back.

Of course, you should also make a point to always lock your car, even if you’re in an area that feels safe. If you open the car windows, make sure to do so only a little to prevent someone from being able to reach down and unlock the door.

2. Be Extra Vigilant in Parking Garages

Parking garages do a great job at keeping your car safe from the elements. What they don’t do as good a job of is keeping you safe from other people.

City parking garages can be a space where criminals operate and take advantage of unsuspecting people. Most of the time, they prey on people who are distracted that they know won’t be able to protect themselves.

If you’re walking alone, make sure to be aware of your surroundings. Don’t talk on the phone, don’t have headphones in, and don’t let yourself get distracted. If you see someone that looks suspicious, stay calm but keep your guard up.

If you need help, make some noise. Press your car alarm, blow a whistle, and get out of the situation as fast as you can.

3. Stay in Your Car if It Breaks Down

When driving through a city, you shouldn’t have to feel unsafe for the most part. However, if your car breaks down in an unfamiliar space, make sure to take the appropriate precautions.

Remember that if the space is unknown to you, it could be a bad neighborhood. Raise the hood and turn on your emergency lights, but stay in your car. If someone stops to help you, you can crack the window and talk to them from there.

You can then call the police or an auto repair service, if you have one, to come and help.

4. Park in the Right Places

As you may be aware, finding parking spots in a city is challenging. Park too far away, and you’ll have to walk miles through potentially unsafe neighborhoods. On the other hand, parking too close to busy areas can be stressful and challenging. But if you live in Brooklyn, the chances of you finding a free parking spot are high if you have a monthly parking Brooklyn permit as this allows you to book a spot beforehand, plus at a lower monthly rate.

Try to find a balance between distance and convenience. For example, if you’re meeting a friend on a busy main street, it might be a good idea to assume that you won’t find a spot there. Instead, try the nearby, quiet side street to take advantage of a stress-free but close location.

You can also try parking in public parking lots. Shopping centers and restaurants often have lots of free spaces where you can park. Just make sure that the business doesn’t reserve the spots for their own customers!

5. Use an App to Make Parking Easier 

As is the case with most things in our lives, many apps can make parking easier, especially in cities.

Different apps can help you park by showing you the locations of nearby parking lots. They can tell you if you’ll have to pay to park there when the lot closes and whether or not it’s currently full.

Some apps also handle paying for public parking meters for you. Gone are the days of having to park five miles away on account of forgetting to bring enough quarters for the meter.

6. Check Your Surroundings When Pulling Out 

Although it’s a general driving rule, make sure to really check your surroundings when pulling out of a parking lot in a city. The chaos and commotion make it easy for you to run into an accident if you aren’t vigilant.

Check all of your mirrors for pedestrians, other vehicles, and anything else that might be in your way. If you’re parked on the side of the road, look over your shoulder to ensure that there aren’t any oncoming cars in your blind spots.

You should also check to make sure that you aren’t parked by an emergency service center. Different signs designate these areas, and you’ll need to be hyper-vigilant if you’re there. Firetrucks, ambulances, and other vehicles often pull out at a moment’s notice.

Follow Common Safe Parking Tips in Big Cities 

If you’re not used to it, parking in a city can seem stressful, and at times, dangerous. However, by following safe parking guidelines and the tips mentioned in this guide, you can be certain that you’ll be able to do it without a problem.

Do you now have a better understanding of how to park safely in a big city? If you do, make sure to check out some of our other blog posts for more guides and tips on how to stay safe while driving.