A massive spike in car park accidents over summer has been recently revealed by insurer AAMI. Over 2,500 insurance claims were made to AAMI for car park accidents in December. That’s a 37% increase on other months. January was only marginally better with over 2100 claims. (Source: Parking Australia)

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Stressed Christmas shoppers and frantic families during school holidays mean car parks become more unsafe over summer. Extra demand for parking and increased congestion creates short-tempers. Keeping an eye on a vacant parking bay while driving towards it diverts attention from reversing cars with blind spots, wayward abandoned trolleys or milling shoppers.

Add to the mix the kids on school holidays in the back seat, and distractions to drivers are rife.  Car parks become more risky places to drive and walk.

So, what can car parks do to improve both safety and customer experience?

One of the many benefits of installing a Parking Guidance System (PGS) is having real time, accurate bay availability data being shown to drivers. Using dynamic LED signage that indicates exactly where cars can park keeps drivers focused. It also saves them time searching for a park. This makes the decision on where to shop an easy one from a customer perspective.

Way finding signage also reduces congestion. Providing correct information on how to quickly get to a free parking bay dissuades drivers from blindly circling each level of the car park at a crawl speed, slowing everybody down and creating a back-up of traffic.

An added bonus of a PGS is the rich data that provided in its reports. For example, a heat map highlights car park areas that are busiest by time of day. This data allows car park operators to manage their assets more effectively ahead of time via directional signage, amended pricing structures, overflow parking areas and so on.

A behavioural economist for AAMI suggests in this article that drivers should adjust their mindset and expect to be in the car park for a longer period at this time of year.  Yet we know that ease of parking and travel has a bigger impact on choice of shopping location than store reputations and promotions.

A parking guidance system is a powerful marketing tactic that influences a customer’s choice of where to shop. A PGS with accurate, real time data and dynamic way finding signage offers the benefit of easy and efficient parking meaning customers can spend more time (and money!) in the shops.

For more information or trusted advice on how to reduce the risk profile of your car park contact us today.

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