When parking, do you pull in frontward or back in backward?


BY TED SHOCKLEY, Eastern Shore Post —

There are two types of people, I’ve found.

Some of them pull in frontward when they park a vehicle, as I do.

Others back in backward, with the front of the vehicle looking out.

By and large, these are habitual actions — those back-in-backward boys always back in backward, as if they were following a court order. 

Some pull-in frontward people, like me, are usually in a real or perceived hurry and don’t have time to fool around with backing into a parking spot.

I am always running late and feel taking the time to back in backwards would make me even later. 

But in recent years, I have developed a case of back-in backward parking envy.

I have studied those back-in-backward boys. They seem focused and squared away. 

I drive through parking lots and look at the backed-in vehicles. I wonder what their drivers know that I don’t.

I have concluded from my own observations that back-in-backward people are generally more particular about the little things. 

Perhaps there are obsessive-compulsive tendencies associated with backing in backward.

Back-in-backward drivers also have some vehicular standards — their cars and trucks tend to be cleaner and showier than mine.

I do not know why or how this translates into backing in backward, but it does.

They park like they could be urgently needed, at a moment’s notice, to drive to a specific location. They park as if they might need to speed off. 

This could never apply to me, for I am never urgently needed for much of anything, thank goodness.

In fact, if there is an urgent situation, I’m the last person you want there, most folks agree.

Some back-in-backward people seem more organized than pull-in-frontward people like me. 

They don’t mistakenly lose their house keys in Georgia, like I did. (My keys were found six months later by an observant cousin-in-law, thank goodness.)

I’d bet the back-in-backward people even manage to keep up with their driver’s license, too. I lose mine for days at a time.

I even know some back-in-backwards boys who go through the trouble of backing into parking places in their home garages.

Maybe they sense they might have to leave home in a hurry.

All of that said, you can imagine my surprise when I read the American Automobile Association advises drivers to back into parking spots or to pull their vehicles through.

This does not apply to angled parking, in which drivers should follow the flow of traffic. 

AAA said backing in backwards is safer for everyone — because reversing out of a space puts pedestrians at risk.

It also said roughly 75% of people are like me — they pull in frontward. 

But the vehicle actually should be facing out to help with visibility and safety. 

So there’s a good reason why I should aspire to become one of the back-in-backwards people. 

I’d even go out right now and pack my car backward — if I could find my car keys. 

The writer is editor of the Eastern Shore Post. Reach him at [email protected]

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