It's tempting to cut corners while you're out running your errands, doing your shopping, or just trying to get from A to B on a dark, cold winter day or night.

There are two "OK" reasons and one bad one why people in Iowa often engage in "rat running" but we'll tell you why the consequences far outweigh the benefits. These reasons are usually why people engage in this act:

  • Saving time
  • Avoiding a red light
  • Just doing it to be stupid. (added by me for effect)

We're talking about cutting across a parking lot, and it's illegal in Iowa, as it is in most states. As often as we still see it, it doesn't seem all that enforceable but if it's a slow day for the cops and you get caught, the website says it could earn you a fine or have points added to your driving record.

Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash
Photo by Ivana Cajina on Unsplash

The other consequences, of course, could be even worse.

  • Running into grocery carts (an entirely different scenario worth its own article on another day, BTW).
  • Hitting pedestrians
  • Running into another motor vehicle
  • Driving the wrong way in the parking lot
  • Participating in distracted driving due to the reduced speed in parking lots
  • Hitting inanimate objects with your vehicle
  • Dying in a crash (added by me for effect)
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

So even if you blow through the Wal-Mart lot to get to a closer parking space two feet closer and two seconds quicker and don't get caught, other consequences could ensue.

car crash accident on the road

I saw this just the other day. Someone jetted through a doctor's office parking lot to evade the stoplight about 2 feet ahead, 5 seconds quicker so they could turn left. Thankfully, if I remember right, they made it safely. But let's just be careful out there.

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