Backing Into Parking Spots: The Debate

shekmark

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I didn't usually back in, but started doing it with my Ram 1500 because it's was so darn long and hard to park straight head-in. I also backed it into the garage because the back-up camera gave a perfect view of when to stop. I'm now backing my 4xe into parking spots, but not into the garage because of two reasons. I need the hood in first to clear under the hard top suspended from the ceiling, and the charge cord won't reach the cowl charge port if I back in because of where I have it wall mounted.
I never knew exactly why guys in pickups aleways seemed to back in until I bought a 2500 . I thought it would be like my Suburban. Not. They ( long pickups) steer so much better backwards into a spot then forward. You had to back in in tighter parking areas, or make a lot of maneuvers to go in forward.
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Headbarcode

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I back in to my garage. It takes all of 10 sec so I doubt exhaust is a problem.
Any garage built to code is constructed especially for keeping exhaust from leaking into the living space. As long as the homeowner opens the garage door before warming up their vehicle and doesn't leave the interior door open, it's all good.
 

Kyle

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I've always backed in because it's safer to pull out forward (how many times have you seen someone have to slam on the brakes backing out because cross traffic doesn't bother to watch or slow down?) and because it's faster to leave pulling out forward. I don't care how busy the lot is either. It doesn't take me any longer to back in then pull in forward and I usually just park at the back of the lot where it's less busy, with more open spots anyways.
 

Jeep4Win

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I park forwards. I’m not sure how many times I have almost been in an accident because someone backed into their spot. When you pull out there are no warning lights in the front to warn other drivers that you are about to leave or dart out of that spot. Just my two cents.
 

Swagger

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With the backup camera and parksense sensors, it is arguably easier to back into a space than go in forward. Going forward, the front bumper is blind and the fenders slope away so the result is I end up parking more at an angle to the parking lot lines if there are no other cars cars around to help judge (park like a princess).
That being said, force of habit causes me to rarely back in.
 

King Nothing

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I back in more often than not. I traded a Ram 2500 for my Jeep. I didn’t have a choice but to back in most of the time.
 

Chupacabra

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Depends on the lot, etc. I back in more with the JLU than with previous cars just because it's easy and the backup camera ensures I don't whack into anything :)
 

zouch

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this sums up my feelings as well.
i'd add that it's easier to guide the vehicle into a spot while steering it from the trailing end than from the leading end.

time-wise, it doesn't take any more time to park and depart backing in than it does parking so you have to back out, and i greatly prefer reversing between stationary parked cars than reversing into traffic.


I also back in almost everywhere.

To me it's very easier and I think it is safer. When I arrive to a spot I have seen all around me and back in knowing what's there. When I leave I am driving forward and again have full vision of what's around me.

When I back out of spots I feel blind and I'm just hoping that anyone coming isn't going to hit me as I pull out slowly.
 

wv18jl

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Skilled drivers back in.
It's how we recognize each other.
Poor drivers make excuses for their inability to do so.
 

Oncorhynchus

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Usually when you arrive somewhere, you aren’t in a hurry so take the time to back in. You might have to leave in a hurry and being backed in facilitates a quick departure. The military calls it combat parking.
Exactly why it makes sense for valet parking. The customer doesn’t care how long it takes the valet to park the car but they want the car back as soon as possible when they return to pick up their vehicle.
 

Heimkehr

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...being backed in facilitates a quick departure.
The military calls it combat parking.
Beat me to it.

By way of example, the State Cops do it as a matter of policy (my neighbor recently graduated from the academy.) That's not accidental.

In the immortal words of Ally Sheedy,...

 

LostSoul

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Years ago i read about a study of backing vs. pulling in.
Consensus was that backing in was safer and quicker
The time needed to back out was longer than the time neeed to back in - once the driver had a few dozen experiences backing in. Plus it is safer in general to pull out of a space.

This article was written not too long before the smart phone invasion began (before the addition of even more distracted walkers and drivers in a parking lot ) which has made backing out a whole new expereince - probably why all the back up sensors exist on vehicle these days.
 

DrPerez007

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Backing a motor vehicle up is inherently dangerous, yet according to AAA nearly three-fourths of all U.S. drivers most frequently park their vehicle by pulling forward into a parking spot. This is a practice that is generally frowned upon because it leaves pedestrians more vulnerable when the driver later backs out of that spot to move into the traffic lane. According to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA), there are at least 500,000 backing accidents of some type every year in the U.S. This results somewhere in the neighborhood of over 15,000 injuries and over 200 fatalities each year, mostly children and the elderly. And while Federally-mandated safety equipment, including backup cameras and sensors, has been added to newer vehicles, injuries and fatalities continue.

As a matter of practice in my profession, I am unaware of any public-safety agency that mandates driving straight into a parking spot. In fact, those with parking policies almost universally require the operator of an emergency vehicle to have the vehicle in a position to be able to immediately pull forward and respond to an incident unless impractical. The reasons involve the safety of being able to have a better perspective of the scene when first arriving at a parking spot and, as noted, the need to be ready to respond emergently at a moment’s notice without having to back a vehicle out of a parking spot (which is more time consuming and requires the driver’s full attention; something emergency operators are not giving their driving when first responding to a call).

My advice to agencies is to first rely on pull-through parking. That’s when a driver locates two empty spaces, and drives through one space before parking in the other. This way, the vehicle both enters and exits the parking space without ever backing up. In the absence of pull-through parking, then backing in upon arrival is the next best thing. Again, the driver has no better sense of the surroundings for accomplishing this task then upon their immediate arrival. Backing up upon departure poses hazards because the driver now has a limited view of his or her surroundings and it requires literally pushing a vehicle into the traffic lane without the luxury of adequate vision, particularly since the driver’s compartment is now at the front of that parking space. Pulling face-forward into a parking space is highly disfavored and discouraged.

Unless prohibited by law (the less than ethical city government of Rehoboth Beach, DL, used to tag for backing in as a revenue raiser; I believe the USPS slapped them with a fraud charge as a result), almost always my vehicle is backed in, including every vehicle in my garage (it does look cooler, too). There are a couple of exceptions. When grocery shopping with just a few parking spots, I will drive head-in so I can load groceries into the rear of my Jeep. Likewise with Home Depot when driving my Ranger pickup and need access to the bed. Otherwise, the best bet and the safest bet is the pull-through method or backing in upon arrival.
 

Hogdreamer

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With the backup camera and parksense sensors, it is arguably easier to back into a space than go in forward. Going forward, the front bumper is blind and the fenders slope away so the result is I end up parking more at an angle to the parking lot lines if there are no other cars cars around to help judge (park like a princess
Unless you have the front trail camera! I use mine all the time while driving nose first into my garage.

I drive straighter forward than I do backing up. Maybe if my garage was less cluttered I could comfortably back in?
 
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