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Do you back out of parking spaces?

25 days ago

Quite a long time ago we had a lengthy discussion on parking-lot parking. I felt strongly (and still feel) that it's safer to pull straight out--front first--from a parking space, and 99% of the time I make sure I can do just that. I used to back into a space in order to be able to do that, but these days I can't comfortably turn my head far enough to do it safely, so I look for spots I can pull into going forward.

Today I had just turned into the driveway of a medical center and was passing the first row of parked cars when one of them backed out just as I was about to pass it. I slammed on the brakes, but we collided, her car damaging the right front corner and front of mine. Accidents happen, so I didn't give the driver a hard time, but it was distressing. My car is only 8 months old!

It's possible her older SUV didn't have a backup camera, but when we use one of those we should keep an eye on the side mirrors as well when we're in reverse. When pulling out facing forward, we can see so much more through the windshield. If a truck next to me is blocking my view, I creep out a little bit at a time, and the same thing is true if I have to back out.

When we had the KT discussion I was surprised at the number of people who routinely back out of parking spaces. Since then I often see someone pull into a parking space and stopping, even though the space in front of them is also available. I still don't understand why they don't take advantage of the opportunity to vacate the spot later with plenty of visibility.

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