Size does matter in a parking lot
OTORISTS in the UK are having nearly 1 400 crashes in car parks every day – because vehicles are getting bigger while parking spaces stay the same size.
A report by Accident Exchange reveals there are more than 500 000 car park prangs annually in the UK, costing drivers £716 million (R12.4 billion) a year.
Critics say the spate of scrapes could be because local authorities are making the spaces as tight as they legally dare, using outdated regulations that are up to three decades old.
Councils can make bays up to 270cm wide, but most keep to minimum dimensions – 228cm wide in long-stay car parks, 249cm in short stay, and 216cm in a mixed area.
This means that even a small modern car may barely fit in – the latest Volkswagen Golf hatchback is 200cm wide, leaving less than 15cm of space either side of a long-stay parking space. By comparison, a Golf from 1974 was just 170cm wide.
There were about 2.2 million accidents on UK roads in 2011, one in four of which were “general car park incidents” – and a 4 percent increase on 2010, according to the report.
But while over the past 20 years cars have widened by up to 25 percent, Transport Department rules governing parking space sizes have remained the same since 1994. Council guidelines on off-street parking date back to the Eighties. – Daily Mail