I don't like parking garages.
There are too many places for people to hide - stairs, elevator or between cars. The parking garages I have seen are often poorly lit and dingy. Several years ago, a co-worker was attacked in a parking garage in broad daylight. She was the HR Manager and had to go to the courthouse for an unemployment hearing. A man approached her but she yelled and swung at him with her briefcase. He was surprised by her reaction and ran away.
This morning I had to drop my daughter off at the community college for play practice. I drove in the parking garage and there was a group of 4 men standing at the entrance. My daughter looked at me and told me to keep driving and find another entrance. I pulled in the nearest space because I was late for work and in a hurry. We got out of our car and one man walked away from the group. The remaining men stood at the entrance talking. We walked through the exit and went to the theater.
Everything was fine but I believe I made a mistake.
I should have went to another exit. I made assumptions about the group due to the time of day (8:00 a.m.). The men looked like college staff members because they were holding papers. The men were casually dressed. No one had an ID badge. My assumptions could have been incorrect.
Here are a few tips for parking garage safety.
1. Awareness. No headphones, cell phones or text messaging.
2. Know where you are going.
3. Park near a light.
4. Have your keys ready. Be ready to use your panic button alarm on your key chain.
5. Try not to be overburdened with packages or bags.
6. Lock your doors and keep your windows up.
7. Trust your instincts.
Please add to the list.