What’s Wrong With This Picture?

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

64 thoughts on “What’s Wrong With This Picture?

  1. I also prefer to park your way when I can. I don’t like not being able to see the back of my car when backing out of a spot in a busy parking lot. It makes me nervous!

    You know what else I think about? I drive a newer model SUV and these days they come with all the new technology and such… the back-up camera is all you depend on (although you shouldn’t bc obviously optimal safety standards require you to look all ways, not just at your back-up camera)!
    I feel like in a way, the backup camera is ruining the old fashioned way of driving, like the keyboard is ruining the old fashioned way of communication- pen and paper!

    Oh sorry, I went on a tangent there Lol

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I’ve driven a car with such a back-up camera a couple of times, and while it is nice, I agree that it doesn’t seem to replace all the neck turning I do when I back out of a space. And I have noticed my handwriting gets a little worse each year from lack of writing and more and more reliance on a keyboard. A dying art I guess…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Can you imagine the heavy burden of guilt one would carry if their loved one died because they took the time to back into the parking space at Urgent Care? They might become suicidal and jump off a bridge. Backward, of course.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I do not like backing in so I don’t do it, but I do like to pull right out like you say, and most of the times I am able too. It just takes a few seconds longer to find a parking space where you can pull through and Voila! I didn’t have to back in and I can pull out, problem solved. πŸ™‚
    But if going to an Urgent Care and its really Urgent I will just take the first space available.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I don’t know about parking, but I’ve had some brutally extended stays at the ER (primarily when my mom would fall.) Now, I realize that Urgent Care and the Emergency Room aren’t identical, but it seems the name doesn’t quite fit. On the night of my mom’s wake, my body broke down at the funeral home, and suddenly I couldn’t walk. They had some medical name for it, but it was related to stress. I got hauled off in an ambulance (That livened up the wake). After they verified that I wasn’t actually dying, they stuck me out in the hallway with 25 other people waiting to be seen. I didn’t get out of there for another six hours. After they filled me with fluids (I was dehydrated), I could walk a little. I went to bed at 3:00 a.m. and delivered the eulogy at Mom’s funeral the next day at 9:30. I don’t know what that has to do with parking, but that’s what your post made me think about.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. that must have been scary at your mom’s funeral, but I’m sure it gave people something to talk about. That is crazy that it was six hours before they got you to of there. It seems like a couple of Gatorades would have solved the problem. And I’m sure the bill was pretty high as well. Did you already have the eulogy prepared before all this happened?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was a terrible experience. I was sitting in a wheelchair for hours in the hallway, wondering why my legs suddenly couldn’t support me and if I would miss my mother’s funeral. The eulogy was written and was waiting for me on my computer at home. Thankfully, it’s never happened again. The last thing I wanted to do was to create a whole lot of unnecessary drama, but it’s hard not to when they’re carrying you out on a gurney.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. One of the reasons I don’t drive is a total inability to park easily. I know this because I did get a licence when I was 17 in Australia. Driving on country roads great, parking in urban settings, even in our little city was a great challenge. Add to that the fact that parking while being watched by others is impossible for those of us with a nervous disposition. But I have never allowed the fact I haven’t driven since I was 20 to stop me being an expert on how others should park. I think your approach is logical Jim. But don’t forget to write a blog about drivers ( often husbands? ) who drive round large car parks several times, passing many empty spaces, just to be near the shop or a space that appeals to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. maybe these new cars that drive and do the parking for you will be of some appeal to you πŸ™‚

      and yes, I don’t get driving around to find a spot close to where I am going, but if I do see a pull through, I will go for that, even if it is further away… so I guess guilty as charged onsome respect πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. Hub agrees with you and always parks back in. I never do. I find it frustrating as it is slower. However, I did read an article that said parking face out was safer as you could get away quicker from danger. I thought that was a good point but I haven’t changed my habits. You know what they say about old dogs.
    I was interested in what you said about scanning licence plates. Do you have plates on the rear only? We have them back and front here so that wouldn’t be an issue.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had not thought about the getting away from danger, seems like a valid point. And while I do find it harder to back into a spot, I find it even harder to back out of a spot.
      Some states in the U.S. require plates in both the front and back of a car, some do not. I live in a state that does not require front and back…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s interesting about the licence plates.
        I’m sure I thought of something else ‘wise’ to say about parking but I’ve promptly forgotten it. 🀣

        Liked by 1 person

  7. My husband – a former police class 1 Advanced driver – also prefers to back into parking spots. My theory is that I have more space to manouever out of backwards than I do backing in, so I rarely do – although I’m with you on the driving through to a second space if there is one available.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I prefer to back in or pull-through a parking space too. Not sure why it started or what benefits I surmised would come from it, but it is now habit. If the few seconds it takes to back into a spot at Urgent Care is the difference between life and death, you are at the wrong facility. That is why Emergency Rooms usually have a circular driveway.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. good point that there probably aren’t too many life and death cases going to an urgent care, but it still seems like a place and time where you wouldn’t be thinking about optimal parking practices. and I never thought about why ERs have a circular driveway, now it all makes sense!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. i’m a fan of the pull-through, when available, but really base my parking on a quick park without driving around to look for an ideal space. if i was a bank robber by profession, i may have chosen another approach to guarantee a speedy departure.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. the pull-through is the best, and I am always amazed when I see someone pull into such a spot, but then they don’t pull up to the free space that would enable them to be facing outwards…

      maybe I’ve got a second career as a getaway driver for bank robbers…

      Liked by 2 people

  10. When I drove I tried to do it the same way you do, too. Not only is it easier to drive straight out, but safer too: you are much closer to any approaching traffic that might be partially hidden by the cars either side of you, and are less likely to drive into someone if not straining your neck to look over your shoulder. A fair point about emergency care centres, though – those few seconds could be life savers, just don’t run anyone down when you reverse out again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems like when I have to back out of a space, I am constantly turning my neck from one side to the other to look for cars and walkers. When backing into a spot, such concerns are much easier to deal with…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m not a good enough driver to back into a parking space… think about what that says about my ability to back out of a space into a parking lot where pedestrians are walking. Whenever possible, I grab a ‘pull through’ spot no matter how far it is from my destination. If none are available, I usually park in the most lonely corner of the lot. That person who backed in was probably there for a covid test, and was stalling because he didn’t want to shove the swab up his nose.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that pull-throughs are the best solution, when available. And I will also park a bit further away if it means I can use such a spot. and good point, who knows what the motivation may have been for that driver at the urgent care πŸ™‚

      Like

  12. Technology to the rescue. With back up cameras and a little practice, backing in should be about as fast as pulling in forward. Some cars have auto parallel park but I don’t know if they will back in automatically. The same technology should work for both I think. I’ve also heard that backing in is safer.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. When I was learning to drive it was to reverse into a space not drive in and it was part of the test…Here they have bollards and if you have a problem they just move them further apart..don’t ask!… They are proud of holding #1 spot for car accidents…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I’ve parked like that before, but I’ve gotten out of the habit lately, mostly because I’m not old. Haha. Anyhow, there are times when I’ve been to urgent care for things that aren’t particularly urgent. For example, I once got drug tested at an urgent care when I was starting a new job. I wasn’t worried about it, but I know some people who would want to drag that out as long as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I seldom back into a parking spot, but I will drive forward if the parking lot configuration allows for it. I understand the Nova police giving you a warning. Law enforcement likes to check vehicles for current license plate tags.

    Liked by 1 person

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