Reverse Parking; Or Back-in, Head-out Parking

9 Jan


Recently I was riding in a vehicle being driven by an employee of a major international corporation. When he arrived in a parking lot, he backed into a parking space. He had a bit of trouble getting lined up, so I asked why didn’t he just pull into the space. The corporation he works for is so large, they are self insured, and it is company policy for the employees to back into the parking spaces. Apparently, the company feels it is safer to pull out of the parking space into traffic instead of backing out into traffic. After doing a little Google research, I came across this article. You can learn something everyday.

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. More seriously, there is a whole category of crashes, often fatal, tracked by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, called “backover crashes“: These typically occur in driveways and parking lots, often involve children, and happen at a higher rate to drivers of SUVs and “light-duty trucks,” owing to the reduced visibility they offer (not just to their drivers but to those parked adjacent). Indeed, the last crash I was involved with occurred when a driver backed his SUV from a parking space into my driver’s side door as I waited for traffic to clear. The driver said he never saw me, even though our cars were only a few feet apart, and it’s almost certain the crash would not have happened had the driver employed “back-in, head out” parking.

So there is the explanation. I might just start backing into the parking spaces myself. Be safe out there!


4 Responses to “Reverse Parking; Or Back-in, Head-out Parking”

  1. Lorilee January 9, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

    I often look for a space where I can pull through and be parked so that I can simply pull out. The down side is that it is difficult to load things into the back of a vehicle parked this way!

    • doublebhomestead January 9, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

      I have to admit I’m not good at backing up so It takes me a while to get into a spot. It is much easier to just pull through whenever possible.

  2. Jamie January 10, 2013 at 1:40 am #

    I’m handicapped and got my little placard to get myself those close parking spots but most have a concrete pillar to hold the sign showing this handicap spot. Read some of ferfal’s older posts about surviving in Argentina during the 2001 economic collapse and how his driving changed.
    When you pull up to a stop light do you have an escape route? How much room do you give yourself from the car ahead of you? Do you have enough room that you could use your car’s power and clearance to jump the curb to get away if some “bad guys” boxed you in? Did you know you can be given a ticket for following to closely at a stop light if a moron hits you in the rear and pushes you into the car ahead of you? This law exist in Idaho and I’m guessing a few other states as well.
    You got a garage and a nice garage door opener? Most have very easy codes to hack. Can you open the garage door without power or the counter weigh if the spring breaks? Trust me those springs are a bit diffacult for 3 strong men to overcome. A short fat disabled girl ain’t got a chance without a Hy-lift jack, and looking pathetic asking for help.
    Get a couple of boxes or orange cones and practice backing up. Know where your wheels are at and really learn your vehicle. If you can see your vehicle in your rear-view mirrors you are doing it wrong. If you turn the mirrors out a bit from seeng the vehicle side you will see vehicles in that “blind spot”.

    • doublebhomestead January 10, 2013 at 8:38 am #

      Thanks Jamie, I wasn’t thinking about parking and driving as a crime issue as much as I was simply a driving issue. In my everyday driving I don’t think about it much, but when I go to the big city, I am definately much more aware of my surroundings and potential problem areas. I occasionally take my FIL to The VA hospital which is in a bad part of town. After a couple of trips, I replanned my route to avoid some of what I considered to be potential danger spots. Thanks for your pointers.

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