AeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 60 Posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4672 times:
I've been noticing a trend of people backing into parking spaces lately. It's been catching my eye as I once had to take the fault for backing into a car in the lane in a parking lot, when the lane had been clear when I began backing up.
The other day I went to pick up a colleague at his hotel, and noticed that almost half of the cars were parked backwards in the spaces that were at 90° angles to the driving lane. So I've been giving it a try, and I actually like it. It's taking some getting used to—I've set up the controls for Driver #2 on the car for side mirrors down so I can see the lane markers at the touch of a button—but it's not that difficult.
There seems to be a reason for it, it cuts down on parking lot accidents (good for me!), and is safer in terms of being able to see people, especially children who might be in your path.
Quote: "When backing in, I have to drive past the slot, then back in. On my way past it, I can look in the slot to ensure it is clear. I have situational awareness, so it is pretty safe to back in. When I leave, I just have to drive out and that is safer than backing out. If I don't back in, when I leave I have to back out into what is basically unknown traffic."
Backing into traffic in parking lots is more hazardous than you might think. Parking lot crash statistics are a bit hazy, particularly for crashes involving only property damage, but a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2001 and 2002 found that 14 percent of all damage claims involved crashes in parking lots (some number of which must have involved vehicles moving in and out of spaces).
As the article from slate.com asks, if the logic of back-in parking is so clear, why doesn't everyone do it?
DarkSnowyNight From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 1754 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4658 times:
I generally back in, for the reasons mentioned, and also that I like it more that way.
As well, where I live, there is a slight incline out front, so it's just as easy to roll by it in N, let the hill take my momentum, and slide back into my spot(s). I also drive a standard, so this (backing in in general) makes it easier to remember to leave my car in R after I've set the brake.
Generally no, but I will often pull through a vacant adjacent spot. The only exception is when there is a big event where people will be leaving at once, like a sporting event. In that case I figure it's worth the time and effort to not have to back out later.
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
tugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 6556 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 4528 times:
I often do back in and one of the primary reasons is to maximize the space for me to open my door get out. With the advent of narrower parking spaces and since most people still pull in nose first, I can make the passenger-side to passenger-side much tighter than usual giving enough space to open my door and get out.
Quoting photopilot (Reply 5): IMHO, if you can't back into a parking spot using just the mirrors,
While I use my mirrors to monitor my spacing I always begin with twisting and looking backwards outside to ensure things are OK. I have a back-up camera as well but would never just rely on it.
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
Interesting. Somehow, having learned how to drive almost 40 years ago, this phenomena of parking backwards has completely passed me by. (Not that Driver's Ed at school nor my driving test back then was any great shakes.) We were only taught how to parallel park.
I've driven through a double-length space before, like mentioned above, but then pulling out into the lane front first has felt as unusual as sitting backwards in a plane during takeoff.
WESTERN737800 From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 695 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 4478 times:
I never backed in much til I started hanging out with a couple friends who do it all the time. I like it, my parking spot at home has a slight uphill incline so I back up to the concrete stop then go forward about a foot that way when it snows I can back up and get a run at it if I need to. I really like if If I ever have a dead battery and need a boost.
StuckInCA From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 2023 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4398 times:
I figured this had more to do with rear wheel drives in snowy/icy areas and old habits. Meaning that a rear wheel drive that's been snowed/iced in takes work to drive out but not if you're going forward.
Not too many on the west coast part back in. A large percentage in the midwest do.
cptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 4355 times:
Well, down here in the sticks, a lot of goobers back in to the saloon parking lots because they don't want their plates to be "read", but more oftenly it's because they don't want a jealous girfriend to I.D. the vehicle (remember, about 75% of the pickemup trucks around here are white, and chicks can't tell a GM from a Ford from a Dodge, but they CAN remember the ""XXX" on the plate!).
Seriously (actually, the above IS serious) when I'm at a Home Depot or such knowing I'm going to buy something six or eight foot long, I'll pull ahead into a parking space so as not to worry about backing into a traffic "hunter" lane. Otherwise, I'll usually back in. Ahh...visibility.
BTW, I notice a lot of people backing in whilst turning around to "see" throught the backlight and not look through the side RV mirrors to guage their progress. Incompetency. And kinda stupid. Just like turning your steering wheel when the vehicle is not even in a slight bit of forward or rearward motion. Great for front tire scrub, eh?
Anyway, I like backing in...you never know when you need a "quick gettaway". best regards...jack
PITingres From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 1330 posts, RR: 13
Reply 17, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 4317 times:
I used to back in regularly. I don't much any more, mostly because nobody else around here seems to do it and you end up in a pissing and horn honking contest with someone who is right up your muffler and doesn't want to give you room to reverse. I do always however back into the driveway. It was mandatory to back into the garage in the house I lived in when I learned to drive.
okie From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 3780 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4292 times:
Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 18): That's interesting. In former Czechoslovakia was expressly forbidden to back into 90° parking spots due to the exhaust gases being emitted directly to the people on the sidewalks.
Did people leave their engines running for extended periods of time?
Quoting cptkrell (Reply 16): Well, down here in the sticks, a lot of goobers back in to the saloon parking lots because they don't want their plates to be "read", but more oftenly it's because they don't want a jealous girfriend to I.D. the vehicle (remember, about 75% of the pickemup trucks around here are white, and chicks can't tell a GM from a Ford from a Dodge, but they CAN remember the ""XXX" on the plate!).
I was thinking it would be easier to hook up the jumper cables.
I never ran into the backing in to 90deg spots until about 15 years ago when the Oil and Gas Industry started requiring it for safety reasons. The idea is that you have passed and visually inspected the area in which you are going to back your vehicle into which is a stationary environment. When departing you are facing an unobstructed view of a non stationary environment.
I park both ways in the civilian environment depending on my perception of the least chance of an incident.
bristolflyer From United Kingdom, joined May 2004, 2329 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 4279 times:
I find it easier to back in than to drive in forwards. Then you have the benefit of being able to see better when pilling out when you're leaving. As said before, if there's a double-length space then I'll usually take that. And I will always look for a spot away from other cars and walk a few extra feet.
L1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1727 posts, RR: 8
Reply 21, posted (2 years 10 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 4257 times:
I prefer to back in so I can get out easier, but sometimes when I am being tailgated in the parking lot, if I pull forward enough to back in, the person following pulls into that space. Either that or he continues to ride my bumper so I can't back in.
mham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 4509 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (2 years 10 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 4115 times:
Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 18):
I only back into parking spaces in underground parking garages. For some reason it's easier for me to back into tight space than drive straight in.
That's what everybody has missed, besides the sight and snow advantage, you can better park in tighter spaces with the wheels in the rear steering while pivoting on the lead-in wheels. That is why forklifts steer with the rear.
YYZatcboy From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1202 posts, RR: 1
Reply 25, posted (2 years 10 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 4178 times:
I always drive through a parking spot if I can. Even if it means taking a slightly longer walk to the store or wherever. Not that it really matters though, because in Alberta an accident in a parking lot is always equal fault regardless of who is doing what. I could be pulling out forwards or backwards and if I get in an accident I will have the same amount of fault.
blueflyer From Tuvalu, joined Jan 2006, 4891 posts, RR: 3
Reply 26, posted (2 years 10 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 4172 times:
Found out the hard way a local college close to home actually makes it illegal to back in. I can't even begin to understand why. If everyone did, I would think campus police could just drive up and down the parking to check for parking permits hanging off the rear view mirror instead of doing it on foot.
When we unleash the dogs of war we must go where they take us
TupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2222 posts, RR: 24
Reply 28, posted (2 years 10 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4157 times:
I have a bit of an issue with driving straight into a space, perhaps even verging on an OCD. I parked nose in to a spot the other day to unload the boot/trunk and half an hour later I had to go and turn it round as I couldn't stand the thought of it nose in!
fr8mech From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 6694 posts, RR: 16
Reply 31, posted (2 years 10 months 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4075 times:
Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 25): Not that it really matters though, because in Alberta an accident in a parking lot is always equal fault regardless of who is doing what. I could be pulling out forwards or backwards and if I get in an accident I will have the same amount of fault
It's not a matter of who is at fault, it's a matter of avoiding the accident to begin with.
Quoting blueflyer (Reply 26): Found out the hard way a local college close to home actually makes it illegal to back in.
I attending a school (one semester) that had this rule. I think they still refer to me as the "asshole who always backs in, just to screw with us".
777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 12938 posts, RR: 15
Reply 34, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3861 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW HEAD MODERATOR
99% of the time at home I'll back into the driveway to park. When I park in the garage I always back in as I prefer to park close to the wall away from the house. When out I usually always park face in but sometimes I back in. Backing in is certainly easier especially for leaving
Shins into receiver hitches...ouch. I have welded a receiver hitch to the front cow-catcher/guard on the Silverado I use mostly for farm work and diesel fuel transport. I have painted it bright yellow with a USDOT red reflex tape stripe, though. Why? I can manuever my 20-foot tandem trailer within microns when hitched to the front of the truck as opposed to backing the attached beast accurately. One should look where one is walking, however. regards...jack
PHX787 From Japan, joined Mar 2012, 8383 posts, RR: 20
Reply 36, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 3811 times:
Lots of people back in so its easier to get out. Since my old car had a wide ass, I couldn't really back it in well enough, so I would instead drive through and pull through the first space into the second one, so it looked like I backed in
Otherwise I was perfectly fine just pulling straight in.
dandaire From UK - Wales, joined Jul 2008, 65 posts, RR: 0
Reply 37, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 3794 times:
I'm surprised no one has mentioned so far that it actually saves you money if back into a parking space. It is more economical to reverse and shunt when the engine is warm rather than when it is cold and you are just starting out. So if you are a hypermiler its the way to go
WarRI1 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 12035 posts, RR: 14
Reply 38, posted (2 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3752 times:
I was always trained to back up a vehicle as a last resort. If you do not absolutely have to, avoid it. You could be suspended where I worked for getting into an accident with a company vehicle when backing up. I still back up as a last resort. Little children come to mind, old people come to mind. Other vehicles come to mind.
It is better to die on your feet, than live on your knees.
Beardown91737 From United States of America, joined Jun 2011, 767 posts, RR: 0
Reply 39, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 3379 times:
Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 15): I figured this had more to do with rear wheel drives in snowy/icy areas and old habits. Meaning that a rear wheel drive that's been snowed/iced in takes work to drive out but not if you're going forward.
That should work the other way around for rear wheel drive. The drive wheels can roll over snow. If the wheels are not powered, they tend to let the snow build up in front (or back) of them. That was the 1980s explanation for why FWD cars are better in the show.
Way too many back in. It takes longer for them to do it, and when they leave the space, they move out quickly. Also there is no indication any given parked car is going to move, since the backup lights aren't an available cue anymore.
Quoting planewasted (Reply 6): You should always, always, look back for real, not through mirrors when going backwards.
135 hrs PIC (mostly PA-28) - not current. Landings at MDW, PIA, JAN.
curtisman From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 1003 posts, RR: 45
Reply 41, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3147 times:
Well I'm not one to back in. One reason is when I am out and about I am often shopping or travelling. Therefore when I approach my car I want quick and easy access to my trunk to place my goods or baggage into. Much easier if the rear of the car is facing out.
Also, I find it much more of a safety hazard to back in. As stated before, one should not rely only on their mirrors to back in - always look back for children or objects, etc.
As to other safety, when I am driving through a car park and some who is backed in starts to drive out, I have no idea they are driving out. When a vehicle is front in and starts to back out, I am able to see their reverse lights on and I know to stop and let them continue on backing out. I personally find drivers who drive front out after being backed in are creating a potential safety hazard.
Additionally, my vehicle has the wide angle back up camera so when I am backing out I can see much more of a wide angle on my screen than if I were to drive out front first. I use my screen in conjunction with my mirrors and looking backwards. If there is an emergency I can get out just as fast - but safer - than someone driving out front first.
Airstud From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 3727 posts, RR: 5
Reply 42, posted (2 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 3019 times:
I became a car-haver last September for the first time in >20 years, and due to the layout of my apartment building's garage; there's really no other way to get into my parking space than by backing in - which I have historically stunk at, for the same type o' reasons Revelation mentions.
I got off to a bumpy start (literally, I bumped the hell into an impolitely positioned concrete pillar the first time I backed out of this parking space, which sold me on having to back in to said parking space in the future, despite the optic challenges involved (and I'm now having trouble remembering how the heck I even fronted into that space the one time, the garage's layout barely makes that possible )). The bump scraped some paint off; no dents; thank God. I'd hate to have to deal with a dent, since I'm only leasing the car.
Well, of course I've been backing into my space nearly every day since last September, and I've gotten totally good at it!! I can navigate round that rude pillar like a pro. One day even I was so impressed with how adroitly I had done this that I congratulated myself with an extra tap on the gas pedal.