13 April 2009

Why do people do this?

So you know what I don’t get? People who back into parking spaces. What is that about? Empirically, it is more difficult to drive a car backward than forward. It just is. You have to crane your neck around to look over your shoulder or use the rear view mirror and remember things are backward and you can’t see what’s happening down by your tires...it’s just a pain in the ass. Yet people do it all the time. Witness the photo taken this afternoon in my office parking lot:

At least here there is ample parking so you can back into spaces that don't have other cars right next to them, but people still do it even when all the spaces are occupied. It makes no sense. When you pull into a space, you are moving into a more constricted space surrounded by obstacles (i.e. the other cars) that you have to avoid. Why would you want to do that backwards? And backing into a parking space is different than backing out of one. When you back out, you are moving from the more constricted spot to a more open one…much easier to do backward.

I have less of an objection if the parking situation is like this:

...and you pull through from one side to the other. I do that myself on occasion (but note: only when the parking lot is really empty. There is nothing more annoying that getting ready to pull into a parking place the normal way and getting almost hit head-on by someone pulling through from the other side.)

People make the argument that they park this way because it is easier and quicker to get out of the space when it is time to leave. That is nonsense. The few seconds you save when exiting won't make up for the extra time, bother, and skill required to back in on arrival. And, unless you are robbing the joint, how fast do you really need to make a getaway?


EDP said...

My husband does this, and it drives me nuts because a) it is a waste of time and b) I can't do it. I'm convinced people who do this are merely showing off their badass parking skills.

KMS said...

You do know as UK drivers we are taught that backing into the car space is the correct and patriotic way. I never do it, but am always ready for criticism on this fact. I do, however, love to parallel park and am a master at it. I can get any car, even The Beard's huge Merc boat, into the tightest of spots in one go. I'm very proud of this.

Zil said...

EDP: I think that is exactly it. They want to show off their backing ability (if there is such a thing)

KMS: It probably has something to do with driving on the wrong side of the road. All your car things are backward over there.