Most drivers endeavor to avoid door dings and other parking-lot mishaps, yet despite their best efforts, it can still happen sometimes. Door dings occur for several reasons, some of which are purely accidental — and others that are less so. By changing your parking strategy, you can increase the odds of avoiding these. If, despite your best efforts, you do end up with a door ding or other parking-lot-related dent, scrape or paint scratch, it’s best to seek professional assistance for repairs.
Why Door Dings Happen
In most cases, according to AAA, parking lot dings and scratches are purely accidental, the fault of people being in a hurry or simply not noticing other cars. In some unfortunate instances, however, people intentionally inflict damage on other people’s cars. This may occur if a driver feels another motorist has parked poorly or too close to the line separating the parking spaces. Grocery carts often roll around, bumping into cars and causing damage, but a group of rowdy teenagers engaged in a rousing round of cart-jousting may also be to blame. And of course, sometimes that random tree or parking bollard jumps directly behind your car as you’re backing out, causing a bumper dent.
Adjust Your Parking Strategy
Prevention is the best approach to averting vehicle body damage in public parking lots and garages. Avoid parking downhill from another car, as gravity can cause the adjoining car’s door to swing wider than the occupant intended. Keep the maximum distance between your vehicle and those on either side, ideally out of reach even when their doors are extended completely. Look for an end space whenever possible, or one next to a landscape island or divider. Never park next to the “cart corral,” however, or a marked pedestrian path. When returning to your car, use the delivery driver strategy of walking around the car’s perimeter, looking for any potential obstacles that might impede you when backing out. Finally, combine your resolution to get more exercise with your desire to avoid auto body damage and park in the far reaches of the lot, away from other cars.
I Got a Door Ding Anyway! Now What?
If you notice the damage before leaving the parking lot, it may be worth your time to alert the store’s security personnel to report the incident. Making a police report is probably not an option, however, if the damage occurred on private property. You may not be able to claim the repair on your car insurance if you have a high deductible. If the damage is significant enough, however, repairs may exceed the cost of your deductible and at least be partially covered. The best way to determine this is to visit your local auto body or collision damage repair shop for a written repair estimate. They can give you the best suggestions for having the damage repaired in the most expedient, cost-effective manner. They can even file your insurance claim for you.
Dent Master of Salt Lake City understands how frustrating minor dents and scratches can be. Their experienced technicians have the training and experience to repair all your body and paint damage flawlessly. If you can’t avoid door dings, let their experts make your car look like new again.