Do you practice defensive driving? What about defensive parking? Just as you likely try to avoid potentially hazardous situations on the road, you should also do your best to avoid them when parking. If you’re not in the habit of parking proactively to avoid auto body damage, there’s no better time to change your ways than now.

What kind of parking habits might be putting your vehicle at risk for damage? Read on to find out.

Parking Too Close to Other Vehicles
Most other motorists really don’t care about the condition of your vehicle — they only care about their own. Although you’d probably like to believe most drivers avoid careless actions that could damage other vehicles, the data says they don’t.

If you routinely park in crowded areas where door dings and dents are likely, here’s what you can do to lessen your chances of needing auto body repairs:

● Park at the end of the aisle where few other vehicles are situated.
● Avoid parking near vehicles that are not properly aligned within their respective parking spaces.
● Consider parking farther away and walking to your destination, especially if you have a luxury or rare vehicle.
● If you must park between other vehicles, note the length of each vehicle’s doors. Are they long enough to collide with your vehicle if the driver or passengers open the doors carelessly?

Rather than hastily pulling into the first open space you see, always assess the position of surrounding vehicles. If there’s any reason to believe another driver might accidentally dent your vehicle locate a different parking spot.

If you do end up with a dent or paint scratches in your parked vehicle, here’s what you should do to handle the situation.

Parking In the Open for Extended Periods
In the Twin Cities, you never know when severe weather or a hail storm might hit. If you park your vehicle in the driveway or on the curb, it can easily suffer hail damage or dents from other falling objects.

To decrease your likelihood of requiring professional dent removal, park in covered areas whenever possible. Even a simple vehicle tent positioned in your driveway can provide additional protection from weather-related damage.

Parking In Full Sunlight
Intense heat from the midday sun can do quite a number on your vehicle’s paint job — just ask anyone who lives in a scorching Southern state. When you continually park in full sunlight, UV radiation can cause your paint to fade, crack, or peel away, leaving it susceptible to further damage.

To keep your paint in top condition, try to park in shaded areas whenever possible. But don’t park under trees if you can avoid doing so! Tree debris is another common culprit behind minor dents and scratches, so try to locate a less hazardous source of shade.

Parking Beneath Roof Eves in Winter
If you’ve lived in Minnesota for a few winters, you’re no stranger to ice dams. And even if you haven’t lived here for years, you surely know what an icicle looks like. What does hanging ice have to do with your vehicle, though? That depends on how closely you park to that ice.

Positioning your vehicle beneath roof eaves that have either icicles or full-blown ice dams can be dangerous. If the ice detaches from the eve of the roof, and your vehicle is sitting beneath that eve, the ice will fall directly on your automobile. Falling ice can be very damaging to your body paneling, so if you can, avoid parking near eves throughout winter.

Parking in Spaces Designated for Specific Populations
If you have a habit of parking in handicapped spaces or spaces designated for curbside pickup, be prepared to have your vehicle towed. No, there’s no guarantee it will happen, but a careless tow truck driver could put scratches or dings in your vehicle in the process of hoisting it onto the truck.

When you get your car or truck out of the impound lot, there’s a chance it’ll need auto body repairs to fix any damage it suffered. If you don’t want to deal with that hassle and expense, avoid parking in spaces that aren’t designated for normal use.

Obstructing Areas Meant for Driving
Do you ever park on the curb so you can run inside a store or restaurant and pick something up? If the curb is painted yellow or red, that means parking isn’t allowed in that area, and if you obstruct other vehicles’ ability to pass through, again, you could be towed. Or, worse, an irritated driver could intentionally do something to damage your automobile.

To avoid causing an upset that could result in damage to your ride, avoid parking in areas that are meant for driving or designated no-parking zones. These zones include:

● Intersections
● Crosswalks
● On sidewalks
● More than 12 inches from the edge of any curb that allows parking

Contact Minnetonka Collision for Quality Auto Body Repair
If your parking situation has led to vehicle damage, don’t hesitate to contact our team at Minnetonka Collision to schedule your repairs. For decades, we’ve been helping Twin Cities vehicle owners take great care of their cars and trucks, and we’re here for you, too.

Ready to learn more about our auto body repair services? Feel free to give our team a call at 763-230-7805. Can’t get to the phone? You can also leave us a message on our contact page, and we’ll get back to you promptly. For your convenience, feel free to schedule your free repair estimate online.