Observing caution while parking a vehicle is as important as following safe-driving practises while on the roads. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Ajman: In yet another freak accident costing the life of a family member of the motorist, an Indian woman died while her husband was parking his four-wheel drive in Ajman on Saturday.

According to community sources, the tragic incident took place at the parking lot of a hospital in Ajman where the Keralite couple had gone for a health check-up. Liji, the 45-year-old mother of two, was helping her husband park the car, signalling to him while standing in front of the car, said Sajad Nattika, president of the Indian Association Umm Al Quwain.

“By mistake, the car raced forward and she got jammed between the car and the compound wall and could not be rescued,” he said. Sajad said the community is shocked and saddened after hearing about the tragic death.

“He was my college mate and also a member of the association. We have always seen them [the couple] together. Both of them are good drivers. Everyone is so shocked and saddened about their fate,” Nattika added.

He said the bereaved husband was completely shattered, even as the relatives were trying to console him and his daughter. The couple’s elder son is an engineering student in India while their daughter studies at a school in Umm Al Quwain where the family has been living for several years.

While Ajman Police are investigating the case, Nattika said officials from the association and social worker Ashraf Thamarassery were supporting the family to help complete the formalities for the repatriation of the mortal remains of Liji.

Neeraj Agrawal, Consul for Press, Information and Culture, at the Indian Consulate in Dubai, said: “The Consulate offers its heartfelt condolences to the family and all the assistance required from our side.”

Call for caution

The accident once again highlighted the need for better care and caution from drivers at parking lots. There have been cases of children being run over by vehicles driven by their family members at parking lots across the UAE. Police have repeatedly urged parents and others to be extra careful while driving, especially with children around and while moving in and out of parking lots.

“It is a common mistake. People should take extra care in the parking lots because anything can happen if someone is standing in front or at the back of the car,” said Nattika.

Similar opinion was echoed by social worker Naseer Vatanappally, who had supported a family of an 18-month-old girl who had been accidentally knocked down by her father in 2016. “All drivers need to be mindful about the surroundings — not only on the roads, but even at parking lots, especially in villas and parking areas where children play,” he said.

Parking lot accidents form a major chunk of accidents reported in several countries and one way to prevent them is to remind drivers to be mindful about pedestrians and other cars, said Saleh Jafar, president of Gulf for YASA, an international road safety organisation.

He suggested commercial establishments should put up safety signs in parking lots. “An awareness campaign on this issue can also help.”

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Tips for safe parking:

Be extra careful when you park your car and watch out for pedestrians, children and other drivers.

When you reverse, make sure not to endanger others.

Watch out for children.

Be polite and respectful towards other drivers looking for a parking space.

Use your lights in underground parking lots and go very slow — many pedestrians can be around.

Park mindfully and avoid blocking others.

Use only dedicated parking spaces and obey no-parking signs, no-parking surfaces and parking spaces for people of determination.

Avoid parking at all cost ‘nearest’ to where you want to go. It is often safer to use a parking space a little further down and it is good for you to walk a few steps.

Source: Road Safety UAE