If you ask drivers to reveal their biggest pet peeve, many would grumble about the time(s) they’ve come back from an outing only to find that their car has been dinged, scratched, dented, or otherwise damaged by someone else’s car door, or runaway shopping cart. Time honored sage advice, park in an end spot, if available. It’s one less car door to worry about.

Other helpful tips include:

Park as far away from other cars as you can

It’s a little less convenient, but the more space around your car, the better. Bonus: you’ll get in some extra steps.

Ensure that you are parked within the lines of your parking space, and avoid parking near vehicles that are not parked correctly.

Open your door slowly

Maintain your situational awareness to avoid swinging your door into curbs, other vehicles, rails, and even walls.

Use covered parking

If you have a garage, take advantage of this protection from the elements. Hail can be very damaging and costly if it pockmarks your vehicle.

Cover your vehicle

Not everyone has a garage in which to park their car. A high-quality vehicle cover is a great way to block notorious door dingers, such as basketballs and swinging car doors.

The occasional door ding might be inevitable, and being mindful of your vehicle’s surroundings may lessen the chances of this disheartening discovery.

Article Originally published geico.com