Nearly six years ago I wrote a post about my belief that the best way to park in a parking lot is to either back into a space or to pull through a space, so that your car is facing out, making for an easy, and safer, pullout when you are leaving. I also note in that post that the AAA also supports such an approach to parking. I have been parking this way for years, oftentimes to the chagrin of my family since it may take a few seconds longer as compared to simply pulling forward into a parking space. (You can imagine how excited I was to come across that AAA recommendation!)
When I drive through a parking lot I often look for other cars that park the same way as I do, so that I can tell myself I am not alone.
(Side note – I just got a parking ticket in my school parking lot for parking this way. Apparently, public safety drives around scanning license plates to see if the cars are registered for on-campus parking. Since I had backed into my parking spot they were unable to scan my plate. At this point, the ticket was just a warning, but I guess if it happened again, I would be fined. I thought about doing some research and composing a long email response that would explain why I park that way and that it is actually safer, but I thought that it wouldn’t be worth the effort, particularly for a $0 fine. So now I just bite my tongue and park the way everyone else does.)
Anyway, back to the original point of this blog.
Take a look at the picture above. It is a random image I found on the internet of an urgent care center with three cars parked in front of it. We have a similar urgent care facility three minutes from our house that I drive past quite frequently. I have started to notice that every once in a while there is a car that has backed into its parking spot, like the red car above.
As I noted above, I am a big fan of this way of parking.
However, something just seems wrong about parking that way when you are at an urgent care center. My guess is that most people, if not all people, are in a hurry when they are visiting an urgent care center. Wouldn’t you want to park as quickly as you can so that you can get inside as quickly as you can? I know it’s only a few extra seconds, but those few extra seconds would seem to be better spent seeing the health care provider as soon as you can.
I can imagine one spouse driving another spouse, who is not feeling very well and could be in a lot of pain, to an urgent care center and the driving spouse deciding to back into a space. If I were the hurting spouse, I would certainly question such behavior, and probably not in a very pleasant manner.
So yes, back-in parking seems to be the way to go in most cases, but there may be those rare situations, like going to an urgent care center, when ease of pulling out of a parking space should not be the primary concern. Perhaps a little common sense should guide such a decision…
*image from Bay Care