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SABOTEUR's avatar

Do you drive straight into a parking spot or do you back in?

Asked by SABOTEUR (14377points) January 28th, 2013 from iPhone

Why or why not…or have you never given it any thought?

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33 Answers

bookish1's avatar

I always drive straight in. Sometimes in a parking lot at a shopping center I’ll pull forward if there’s an empty spot in front of me, so that I can drive straight out. But I don’t really understand why people bother to back into parking spots. Lots of kids do it in my apartment complex, and they usually end up doing a bad job of it and taking up 1.5 parking spaces.

marinelife's avatar

I never back in. I’m no good at it.

Soubresaut's avatar

I drive straight in—the one exception being, if it’s those lots with just the white line between the two sides that’s marvelously empty, and I can drive straight through. I watch people who back in, and I always think about how much more of an effort, all that maneuvering, is. I see it all the time… me, I just want to park and jump out to do whatever I need to.

Oh I see I have a similar response to @bookish1… I agree!

A point my uncle made one day when we watched someone carefully, stubbornly, backing in to a spot very difficult to back into—sure it seems like you can see better, but you’ve just made it so that you have no backup lights for any oncoming traffic. Be parked in by two effective walls of SUVs, and you won’t see anyone until your car’s nose is well into the lane of (hopefully-slow-moving) traffic, and they’ll not have had any white lights to catch their (hopefully-observant-anyway) eyes.

Unbroken's avatar

Agree with @DancingMind and @bookish1. It is unnecessary especially if you can pull through or just back out with out having to bother with correction if you don’t nail it the first time.

Alaskan winters mean you have to plug in I prefer a short cord where I can get away with it. Backing in would require a longer cord.

Also it is sometimes laughable when people in their nice cars carefullly back in only to find out they didn’t pull in all the way or too much or took up several parking spaces… After they have held every one up. I always assumed there was a show off factor to it.

SABOTEUR's avatar

Maybe I should clarify my question. I’m referring to “7–11” type parking spaces…not those “open-ended” spaces you see in supermarket lots.

jonsblond's avatar

It depends on the parking lot. I back in at my daughter’s school, but rarely when I’m out shopping. I park at the end of the lot when I’m shopping and there usually isn’t a car in front of me, so I can just go forward and out of the lot without having to wait for people who are close to the front of the store. I do prefer driving right out of the lot instead of backing out. You can see little kids easier this way. I also don’t need to turn my whole body to look both ways before I leave the parking spot.

I also used to back in to our driveway at the house we lived in for 16 years. We had too many dead batteries and it was a pain to push the car out of the driveway to be able to use jumper cables with another car. If our battery died and the car was already backed in, it made life much easier for us.

Pachy's avatar

Straight into my garage frontways, always. One, there’s no reason for me to back in, and two, I don’t trust myself backing up, especially at night.

jonsblond's avatar

I’d just like to say that it isn’t hard to maneuver if you have practice backing in. It’s quite easy once you get a hang of it. Then there is no difference between backing in and backing out. You are basically doing the same thing! :)

filmfann's avatar

I always back up. When I arrive, I can see the area is clear of people. If I have to back up when leaving, I have an obscured view.
I also take a lot of pride in my backing ability.

Coloma's avatar

I rarely back in but…if I can pull through one straight into another poised for a quick get away, yes, that’s my preference a lot of the time.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

The last three times I parked today, I backed in. So that I could drive out, there was a lot more traffic in the lot when I left. That way I would be able to see through my windshield to drive out.

jaytkay's avatar

Do the hard part first, back in.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Usually I put straight in, or pull through. Unless it is snowing heavily and I will be parked for a while. I like to be facing out so I can easily drive over the snow ridges the parking lot plows leave in front of the car.
I also prefer to park so the windshield faces the sun. That way there is a chance the ice will be melted off when I come back out.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I can’t stand when people back into a spot. It’s just one of those things that annoys the hell out if me.

I pull straight in, but I’ll pull through to the spot in front of me if it’s open. This way, it’s easier to get out when I leave and no more difficult to get in.

ragingloli's avatar

Handbrake powerslide. Always.

Judi's avatar

Hubby backs in. I think he thinks its cool.

mangeons's avatar

I always pull straight in, sometimes I’ll pull through if the spot on the other side is open. I don’t back in because I still have my learner’s permit and haven’t learned to back into a space yet. I also don’t see the point of backing in unless you have a specific reason to.

Judi's avatar

You back in for a quick out. It’s something that comes from watching to many action movies I think.

mangeons's avatar

@Judi Ah, I see. That seems like a lot of extra effort to go through for minimum payoff, though! I find it much easier to either find a space where I can pull through or just back out of the space, which isn’t all that difficult in the first place (in my opinion). Thank you for enlightening me on this subject!

wundayatta's avatar

I back in. It’s easier. The parking spaces are too narrow at work. It’s easier to see cars getting out and easier to get out. I find backing in much easier than backing out.

When backing out, you might not see a car and run into it. That happened to me. Someone backed into me as I was waiting to exit. I couldn’t move. My daughter was in the car, too. It was scary. I made the mistake of taking their word that they would pay me when they asked not to send it to insurance. They lied. Left work. I couldn’t find them. Made me feel like a fucking idiot for trusting them because we worked at the same place.

jonsblond's avatar

@mangeons There’s no extra effort because you are going to back out either way. You either back in when you arrive or back out when you leave. It’s actually safer to back in to an empty parking space. When you back out you have blind spots and it’s easier to hit a moving car or pedestrian that way.

bossob's avatar

I back in when possible. I drive a van and a pickup. When I find my spot, I’m very attuned to what cars and people around me are doing. I use my door mirrors to back in; no problem. But when I’m backing out, I’m blind except for my mirrors, and I have little idea of what is going on around me.

Bellatrix's avatar

When I park at work, many of the car parks demand angle parking and we have to back-in, so I do. Other than that I drive into a car parks. I hate parking.

Sunny2's avatar

You’re just talking parking lots? I go in forward and stay unless there’s a slot ahead, in which case I go forward and look like I’ve backed in. For street parking, I often have to back in, but I have a small car, so it’s no big deal. 20 years from now, all cars will park themselves.

Unbroken's avatar

Issues not yet brought up, when parking is diagnol and going the wrong way, for whatever reason, pulling forward backing in is reasonable.

When pulling up to loading docks, trash, brush, pallets or unloading a boat or other sports equipment backing up is practical and should b encouraged if not mandatory.

Putting groceries in the back of your vehicle safer to bet leaving back end sticking out. Some people like parking really close, not always but inevitably when it matters. Also tailgating must have optimal room.

Never considered the children angle, but unless you have windows blocked or a vehicle with huge blind spots and aren’t paying attention this shouldn’t be an issue.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I guess this comes from training acquired when I was paid to drive. One of the rules that was emphasized was to minimize the possibility of being involved in accidents. Therefore, the driver is always mindful of potential consequences every time the vehicle is moved.

I back in whenever parking prevents me from pulling straight ahead because it’s safer than backing into traffic.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I usually back in just because then it is easier to drive straight out when I return to my car.

mangeons's avatar

@jonsblond Perhaps it is just the fact that I am a less experienced driver that makes me feel like backing into a space requires more effort than pulling in. It just seems a lot more difficult to me! Like I said, that could easily be because I don’t have much experience with it!

Unbroken's avatar

@SABOTEUR Good point, you have been brain washed : P

I do think I remember something of the sort from driver’s ed. I wonder if that idea is actually based on statistical data…

**Off to explore.

jaytkay's avatar


You are not mistaken. It is harder to back in.

You drive backwards (which is already more difficult than forwards) into an awkward narrow space, worrying about hitting the cars on either side.

Or you drive forward into the space. And later back out into the wide open aisle between parking spots.

I still like to back in first

SABOTEUR's avatar

@jaytkay Your analogy is half correct…

…you drive forward without fear of hitting the cars on either side.

And later you back into a pedestrian or the car that suddenly “came out of nowhere”.

jaytkay's avatar


Half correct is appropriate.

You WILL drive forward easily.

Or you MIGHT back into a pedestrian or traffic.

Odds are better driving forward into the parking spot.

And yet I am a “back in” kind of guy

SABOTEUR's avatar

@jaytkay Odds are better, but…with no disrespect to our “drive-in” jelly friends…backing into traffic seems unnecessarily risky.

So you have to take a little extra time or be especially cautious backing between parked cars.

Do you take the same precaution when backing out?

6 in one hand…half a dozen in the other, I guess.

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