Why Do People Back Up Into Parking Spaces?
As professional parking lot sweepers, we’ve seen people park in all different ways – whether it’s a big truck or a fancy sports car taking up three spaces, or a new driver who isn’t able to stay between the lines. Some of you might be thinking that backing up into a parking space is an equally terrible parking faux pas, but there are many drivers who beg to differ. So what’s the deal? Why do people back up into parking spaces, and what’s so great about it?
1. To make it easier to exit the car.
Many drivers feel that backing into a parking space makes it easier to exit the car after parking. For instance, if you have to park between two cars that are right up against the line and both facing inward, backing up gives you a little bit more space to open your doors.
2. To practice maneuvering in tight spaces.
Some people just like a challenge, to be frank. Practicing backing into a parking space regularly means that you’re getting daily experience maneuvering your car in tight spaces. The same argument goes for parallel parking – the more you avoid it, the poorer you’ll be at it. If you practice more often, it’s no big deal when you’re in a situation where backing in or parallel parking is the only way to find a parking space.
3. Better visibility when leaving the parking space.
This goes for parking in your driveway as well as parking in a parking lot. By backing in, you put yourself in a better position the next time you go to exit the lot. When your car is facing forward, you have better visibility and can spot anything in your way (like kids playing on the street or dogs roaming around the sidewalk).
4. It leads to fewer car accidents in parking lots.
At the end of a long work day, you just want to get home. After finishing an 8-12 hour shift, you’re tired, your mind is exhausted, and you’re more likely to not take as many precautions as you should – especially when backing out of a parking lot space. By backing into your space at the start of your shift, you’re then able to simply pull forward to exit your work parking lot, allowing yourself full view of any obstacles (cars, pedestrians, or otherwise) that might be in front of you. Other countries actually teach their drivers to back into parking spaces for this very reason.
Pay Attention to Parking Space Signs
While we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the benefits of backing into a parking space, we also want to caution you. There are some situations where backing in simply isn’t as easy, or it’s even downright prohibited. Angled parking spaces, for instance, might require the driver to block traffic in both lanes completely if they tried to back in. Some spaces are labeled as “head in” or “nose in” parking only, particularly if the spaces are angled or on a steep hill.