Why it’s better to back into a parking slot

Make use of those sensors
by Jason Tulio | Oct 12, 2017
PHOTO: Shutterstock

Okay, so arguing about which direction to park your car might sound like nonesensical gearhead nitpicking, but hear us out. While driving nose first into an empty parking slot is tempting, there are a few reasons you should take the extra seconds to park in reverse. Take note:

1) In some ways, reverse parking is actually easier.

The common argument against parking in reverse is that backing up into a narrow space between two cars is more difficult than just driving straight in. But what about when you’re exiting? What’s harder, then—reversing into an empty parking slot or keeping an eye out for oncoming cars behind you? With a well-positioned parking space, at least you’re certain that another car won’t suddenly jump in your way.

2) It’s safer.

Speaking of things suddenly getting in your way, keeping an eye out for pedestrians with shopping carts is much easier when you’re already facing the way you’re going. As we all know, not everyone keeps their wits about them when they’re walking or driving.

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3) When it’s time to leave, getting out is much simpler.

Not all parking lots are made equal. Some are spacious, while others are narrow with nary an inch of room to spare (although there is a building standard for parking spaces). So imagine you drive forward into a tight slot, then come back to find that two massive SUVs have sandwiched you on either side. Backing out of that slot would require some precision driving. If you parked facing outwards, though, you can drive off with a lot less fuss. 

Of course, there are some instances when you should park face-forward: When you need to load stuff into your trunk, when your car or the parking slot’s dimensions leave you with no other option, or when there’s a big sign insisting that you do so. Still, if you ask us, parking in reverse is usually the way to go. Do you agree? 

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Oh, and if you’re new behind the wheel, make sure to check out the seven things beginners should keep in mind when driving in reverse.

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