Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => All In A Day's Work => Topic started by: hajisaurus on February 19, 2014, 02:25:39 PM

Title: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: hajisaurus on February 19, 2014, 02:25:39 PM
Hi All,
I work at a hospital where most of us are expected to arrive for shifts by a certain time. We have a designated lot where staff only park (no patients). I'm finding that a good number of the 'early shifters' arriving in the lot back into spaces more often than not. I accept that I'm probably more impatient than I need be behind the wheel, but backing into spaces takes much longer than simply pulling in and parking. I accept that it's probably much easier for them when they leave for the day, but if there's three cars behind you and you pull past a space, then reverse (without turn signal or anything) it's sort of rude. It takes longer, and you're holding up the rest of the "line" of people waiting to pull into the next space. Of course, there's no rule about it, but I just find it incredibly annoying.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MrTango on February 19, 2014, 02:28:33 PM
I agree that passing a space and then reversing into it without signalling is rude (and dangerous), but the rudeness is in the lack of signal, not in the decision to back into a parking space.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: camlan on February 19, 2014, 02:34:25 PM
They really should be signalling.

On the other hand, they can now pull straight out of their spots when they leave, which will be faster than most drivers backing out of their spots.

Unless you can find two spots where you can drive through one and park in the second, you will be backing up at some point--either to park or to leave the parking spot.

My parking preferences are, in order 1) pull through, 2) back in, 3) pull straight in. I have noticed that other drivers are much more patient for drivers backing out of spots than drivers backing into parking spots.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 19, 2014, 02:43:51 PM
I have noticed that other drivers are much more patient for drivers backing out of spots than drivers backing into parking spots.

Understandable, really.  If someone is backing out of a spot, I can nab it when they're gone.  But if they are backing into a spot and I'm waiting for them, I then have to go find an empty spot.

But backing into a parking space is not rude.  The failure to signal is rude.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Margo on February 19, 2014, 02:45:46 PM
I think one of the reasons may be more patient with those backing out is that it doesn't seem so deliberate. If you chose to back in, when there are people waiting behind you, you are knowingly causing a delay - you could chose to drive in and there might be fewer people around when you leave, so you won't hold anyone up.

If you're backing out, it doesn't seem so much as though you're ignoring the queue, as you don't have any alternative (plus, they may be waiting for the space ;-) )

(all 'yous' general)

My personal preference is to back in rather than out as I think it is often safer, as you have better visibility, but if I arrive at a busy time I will go in forwards (or f the car park is busy but not full, I may go further in - I fnd often the car behind me will rush for the space I *didn't* take, and then it is them holding up the queue, and I get to park a little further on with no-one breathing down my neck! 
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Specky on February 19, 2014, 03:09:53 PM
It's illegal here to either back into a spot or pull through from the other side.  They won't patrol parking lots looking for offenders, but if you happen to do it in front of an LEO, you're toast.  Also, it's used as an "add on" charge if they are ticketing for something else and you are facing the wrong way in a parking space.  Too many head on collisions between people who are pulling into a spot and collide with someone pulling through from the other side.  Also, there have been enough instances where someone decided to back into a space, and backs into the person behind them (cause the person behind them couldn't read their mind).
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MurPl1 on February 19, 2014, 03:55:46 PM
Specky,

Is that public lots or private ones too?  Other than handicapped spaces, stolen cars and registration expirations our police do not really have any law enforcement authority in a public lot here.  Essentially they can't enforce moving violations.  Like blowing an in-lot stop sign or speeding.

The instances you gave are private matters and would be for insurance companies to work out.  The police may do a police report but there's generally no law enforcement action taken.  And if you're in the major city nearby they wouldn't even bother to come out.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: TootsNYC on February 19, 2014, 04:11:11 PM
Hi All,
I work at a hospital where most of us are expected to arrive for shifts by a certain time. We have a designated lot where staff only park (no patients). I'm finding that a good number of the 'early shifters' arriving in the lot back into spaces more often than not. I accept that I'm probably more impatient than I need be behind the wheel, but backing into spaces takes much longer than simply pulling in and parking. I accept that it's probably much easier for them when they leave for the day, but if there's three cars behind you and you pull past a space, then reverse (without turn signal or anything) it's sort of rude. It takes longer, and you're holding up the rest of the "line" of people waiting to pull into the next space. Of course, there's no rule about it, but I just find it incredibly annoying.


My "excuse me for living" alarm bells are starting to vibrate.

People are entitled to do things that delay other people, or that annoy them.

Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: bah12 on February 19, 2014, 04:30:57 PM
Not signaling is unsafe.  Backing into spaces, however, is not rude.

Just because it takes longer and might force you to wait, doesn't make it rude.  Just like it doesn't make it rude if you have to wait for someone to back out of a parking space when they are leaving.  People are entitled to be faster or slower than average.  They are entitled to stop and ask a question at the checkout and be generally inefficient with how they go about their lives.  None of this is rude. 

It wouldn't occur to me to be bothered by someone taking an extra 60 seconds to back into a parking space vs. pulling straight in.  And I'd only really notice that it's a delay, if I'm running late.  I'm generally impatient anyway, but my irritation would be more that I've timed my arrival to work for the last possible minute without taking into account contingiences (like traffic, someone in a crosswalk walking slowly, etc), so that a minor delay would make me late. 
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: BarensMom on February 19, 2014, 04:53:30 PM
I used to drive a company vanpool van, and one of the things we had to do was learn the Smith System of Driving.  Don't remember if this was Mr. Smith's gospel or just the instructor's, but they told us we absolutely HAD to back into the parking spaces at the complex.  After that, it was a rarity to see one of our vanpool vans w/o a banged up rear bumper.  My van was one of the rare ones because I parked far enough away that I could pull through.   It finally suffered the same fate as the others after one of my subs took it out while I was on vacation. 
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Jones on February 19, 2014, 04:55:25 PM
Lots of companies here have a "back in, head out only" policy. This is because statistically, it was found more accidents were happening when first move was in reverse than when the first move was in drive. It's easier to see pedestrians or oncoming traffic in front of the vehicle than behind, after all. Also, in an emergency situation it's a lot easier to get out quickly in drive than reverse. So, back in parking has become second nature for many of those workers, who have taken it with them to the gym and grocery store.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Julian on February 19, 2014, 05:19:12 PM
Due to the structure of the car park I use at work, the location of my reserved spot and the parking habits of those on either side of me, it's far safer and quicker for me to reverse in than drive in.  I indicate left, then have to swing wide to the right to back into the LHS spot.  Most people get it.  One go to park in reverse vs two or three in forward gear because there just isn't room to drive straight in.

Other people there do it too - some fellow parkers tend to tailgate through the car park, making it difficult, but enough reverse in that most people don't. 

I do try to minimise the time I take to park, but no matter which way people park, at some stage there's going to be delays, that's life.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MOM21SON on February 19, 2014, 05:27:19 PM
When did backing into a spot become so trendy?  I personally hate it.  But, I guess there is nothing I can do.

In my state it is illegal to pull threw to the next spot, but never enforced that I have seen.  There was a accident in our work parking lot due to that, but it was considered private property.

I detest the long bed pick up truck drivers that back in and cover the whole sidewalk.  That is very rude.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Alli8098 on February 19, 2014, 05:37:34 PM
I detest the long bed pick up truck drivers that back in and cover the whole sidewalk.  That is very rude.

I HATE that, I've had that happen in our apartment complex too many times to count. I don't mind if my neighbors are actively loading or unloading something and backed in for that reason.  But one neighbor who did that also parked practically on top of my car on the side where DD's carseat is.  After I got her strapped in and secure I attempted to walk to the very back of my car to get to the passenger side (DH was driving, it was easier for me to load DD as I'm smaller then him) and hit my shoulder really hard on the guys side view mirror.  It was dark and hard to see the big black thing sticking out.  I was sore a bruised for a few days and cursed that neighbor under my breath.  If he hadn't backed into his spot the mirror would not have been in my way.  But it did teach me to be vigilant, especially in the dark.  I will take responsibility for not making sure my path was clear.  And no, his giant side mirror was not moved or damaged.  It sure did damage me though.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MOM21SON on February 19, 2014, 05:39:48 PM
I detest the long bed pick up truck drivers that back in and cover the whole sidewalk.  That is very rude.

I HATE that, I've had that happen in our apartment complex too many times to count. I don't mind if my neighbors are actively loading or unloading something and backed in for that reason.  But one neighbor who did that also parked practically on top of my car on the side where DD's carseat is.  After I got her strapped in and secure I attempted to walk to the very back of my car to get to the passenger side (DH was driving, it was easier for me to load DD as I'm smaller then him) and hit my shoulder really hard on the guys side view mirror.  It was dark and hard to see the big black thing sticking out.  I was sore a bruised for a few days and cursed that neighbor under my breath.  If he hadn't backed into his spot the mirror would not have been in my way.  But it did teach me to be vigilant, especially in the dark.  I will take responsibility for not making sure my path was clear.  And no, his giant side mirror was not moved or damaged.  It sure did damage me though.

Yeah, It is really fun when I have to help a relative with a walker off the sidewalk to the parking lot to go around the truck. 
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MMHou on February 19, 2014, 06:27:23 PM
I detest the long bed pick up truck drivers that back in and cover the whole sidewalk.  That is very rude.

I HATE that, I've had that happen in our apartment complex too many times to count. I don't mind if my neighbors are actively loading or unloading something and backed in for that reason.  But one neighbor who did that also parked practically on top of my car on the side where DD's carseat is.  After I got her strapped in and secure I attempted to walk to the very back of my car to get to the passenger side (DH was driving, it was easier for me to load DD as I'm smaller then him) and hit my shoulder really hard on the guys side view mirror.  It was dark and hard to see the big black thing sticking out.  I was sore a bruised for a few days and cursed that neighbor under my breath.  If he hadn't backed into his spot the mirror would not have been in my way.  But it did teach me to be vigilant, especially in the dark.  I will take responsibility for not making sure my path was clear.  And no, his giant side mirror was not moved or damaged.  It sure did damage me though.

Yeah, It is really fun when I have to help a relative with a walker off the sidewalk to the parking lot to go around the truck. 

I completely agree that blocking a sidewalk is extremely rude and should not be done. But I can tell you from experience that sometimes it is difficult, if not impossible, to pull straight into a parking spot when driving a long vehicle.

A few years ago I took my car in for maintenance, and the only loaner vehicle they had available was a four-door, four-wheel-drive pickup. I was attending college at the time, and when I attempted to pull nose first in to a parking spot at school it took several tries of pulling up, backing up, straightening out, and finally scraping the corner of the car next to me! And at the time my regular vehicle was an SUV, so it wasn't like I was unused to parking large vehicles in this lot. This truck was just extra long and couldn't be maneuvered straight into the space. I then remembered that my brother always backed his four-door truck into parking spaces and attempted that. It worked on the first try.

But if backing in means someone is blocking a sidewalk, he/she should park somewhere else!
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Jones on February 19, 2014, 06:36:52 PM
When did backing into a spot become so trendy?  I personally hate it.  But, I guess there is nothing I can do.

In my state it is illegal to pull threw to the next spot, but never enforced that I have seen.  There was a accident in our work parking lot due to that, but it was considered private property.

I detest the long bed pick up truck drivers that back in and cover the whole sidewalk.  That is very rude.

When I took a Defensive Driving course, we were required to pull in backwards.

That was about the time all the safety departments were requiring their companies put up "Back In Only" signs in the private parking lots around here.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MrTango on February 19, 2014, 06:43:15 PM
When did backing into a spot become so trendy?  I personally hate it.  But, I guess there is nothing I can do.

In my state it is illegal to pull threw to the next spot, but never enforced that I have seen.  There was a accident in our work parking lot due to that, but it was considered private property.

I detest the long bed pick up truck drivers that back in and cover the whole sidewalk.  That is very rude.

When I took a Defensive Driving course, we were required to pull in backwards.

That was about the time all the safety departments were requiring their companies put up "Back In Only" signs in the private parking lots around here.

When I took a defensive driving course in college (required because I drove a University-owned vehicle as part of my job), they told us that we should always pull through if possible.  If not, we should back into the lower-traffic space.  Since a parking space is less likely to have other traffic in it than the lane, it's better to back into the spot and therefore be able to pull forward into the lane.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 19, 2014, 06:46:30 PM
I had to back into a spot in order to pass my driver's test.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MOM21SON on February 19, 2014, 06:57:49 PM
So, I guess the trend began waaaayyyy after I took my license test.  I don't like the backing in for the reasons stated. 
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 19, 2014, 07:13:21 PM
I took my driver's test in 1987...

I back in at work because I only have to worry about one car.  For the most part, the first person in parks closest to the door and as we arrive, we park beside the person before us, pulling forward through the rest of the spaces and backing in beside the vehicle on our left.

But otherwise, I've never been very good at backing into a spot.  I usually look for a pull through and very carefully move into the space across from me.  But now that I have a back-up camera, I've backed into a few more spaces than I used to.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Elfmama on February 19, 2014, 07:16:25 PM
They really should be signalling.

On the other hand, they can now pull straight out of their spots when they leave, which will be faster than most drivers backing out of their spots.

Unless you can find two spots where you can drive through one and park in the second, you will be backing up at some point--either to park or to leave the parking spot.

My parking preferences are, in order 1) pull through, 2) back in, 3) pull straight in. I have noticed that other drivers are much more patient for drivers backing out of spots than drivers backing into parking spots.
But the time you take to back into the spot cancels out any time you save pulling out later.  And every time you back and fill to get into the spot exactly, the ratio worsens. 
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: shortstuff on February 19, 2014, 07:32:13 PM
Oops, I back in at work all the time and never signal  :-[  Guess it's time to start. 

Our parking lots are very high traffic, so almost everyone at my work (which includes professional drivers) backs into spaces with their personal vehicles.  I think it's much safer when leaving the space for me, since I'm very short (ha) and it's harder for me to see. 

I don't think backing in is rude, I never thought to signal but it really is proper as well as considerate.  But I don't really see what harm it would do; even without a signal warning they're about to back up, no one should be following another car that closely anyway.  If it's a coworker who you know well, or if you're walking in the building together, you can possibly try asking for a friendly 'heads up' signal before backing up next time.  Just cite safety and a lack of coffee in the morning.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: esposita on February 19, 2014, 08:26:59 PM
For me its about safety. When I drive down an aisle I know whether or not there are any pedestrians or cars to watch out for because I see them very easily as I'm driving down the lane. Then when leaving I can arrange myself, buckle, look both ways, maybe pull forward a tiny bit to see around the cars on either side, and I'm good to go.

OTOH, if I have to back out, I still have to arrange myself in the car, adjust my purse and what-not, and by time I'm ready to back out (about 30 seconds, not long but long enough) I have no idea if anyone is coming so I have to look everywhich way out the limited rear windows (much different than looking out of a windshield) and back and forth and sometime I can barely see around the cars next to me and its just this whole big drama filled thing.

So for me this really isn't a preference or a trendy thing, its absolutely about safety. And it does actually save time. :)
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MOM21SON on February 19, 2014, 08:55:33 PM
Yes, it does save time for the back in person.  The pull in person has to wait.  I guess the pull in person has more time to spare.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: siamesecat2965 on February 19, 2014, 09:40:42 PM
I back in all the time; at home, where I park in the far end if the complex, so very rarely is there another car, and at work. Again, low traffic. At my second job, esp when working sat, I back in since I find it easier to see when leaving. Sometimes there is someone right behind me, and even though I signal, the still creep. But I don't think it's at all rude to back in.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Psychopoesie on February 19, 2014, 10:15:55 PM
Backing the car in is fine. Don't do it myself unless I have to (some spots, especially in main streets of some country towns I've visited are marked reverse park only).

It annoys me when people do this without signalling. One minute someone is driving past a spot and it seems reasonable to think they're continuing down the road, maybe trying for a closer park. Then their brake lights go on and they're suddenly reversing. So the car following has to break unexpectedly. A few times, a whole line of traffic has had to back up so the person can achieve their reverse park. That's inconsiderate IMO. Even at low speeds, moving a car in an unexpected direction risks an accident too.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: TootsNYC on February 19, 2014, 10:18:47 PM
How does one signal one wants to back up? The turn signals indicate right and left; there isn't really one for backward, other than the back-up lights.

I suppose they simply come to a stop right in front of the place they want to park, and wait for people to go past?

or do they angle out to block the road and then back up?
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: kareng57 on February 19, 2014, 10:21:00 PM
They really should be signalling.

On the other hand, they can now pull straight out of their spots when they leave, which will be faster than most drivers backing out of their spots.

Unless you can find two spots where you can drive through one and park in the second, you will be backing up at some point--either to park or to leave the parking spot.

My parking preferences are, in order 1) pull through, 2) back in, 3) pull straight in. I have noticed that other drivers are much more patient for drivers backing out of spots than drivers backing into parking spots.


That's exactly what I do.  I've found that if you (generic) are driving anything higher than a sedan, you simply often cannot see small moving objects (such as unsecured children) through the rear-view mirror.  Of course the parents should not be letting them run around the parking lot but we all know that it happens.

For OP - since you mention the morning, is the issue that the extra time taken with co-workers backing-in is making you late for work?  IMO it's just one of the things you have to account for, such as encountering all the red traffic lights on the way.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Psychopoesie on February 19, 2014, 10:28:38 PM
How does one signal one wants to back up? The turn signals indicate right and left; there isn't really one for backward, other than the back-up lights.

I suppose they simply come to a stop right in front of the place they want to park, and wait for people to go past?

or do they angle out to block the road and then back up?


They usually just indicate as they come up to the spot, same way you (general you) do if you park front end in or when you do a reverse parallel park. Tapping the brakes at the same time (and slowing down) as well, also helps following drivers get the idea. That's what seems to happen here, anyway. Except when they forget or can't be bothered.

This wikihow on reverse parallel parking shows what I mean.

http://m.wikihow.com/Parallel-Park (http://m.wikihow.com/Parallel-Park)
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MurPl1 on February 19, 2014, 10:36:19 PM
When did backing into a spot become so trendy?  I personally hate it.  But, I guess there is nothing I can do.

In my state it is illegal to pull threw to the next spot, but never enforced that I have seen.  There was a accident in our work parking lot due to that, but it was considered private property.

I detest the long bed pick up truck drivers that back in and cover the whole sidewalk.  That is very rude.

Many of them do that to avoid leaving their pick ups blocking part of the driving area - to be less rude to other drivers. 
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: lollylegs on February 19, 2014, 11:07:09 PM
Failing to signal is rude. Backing into a spot is not. The driver will be performing a lengthy reverse either going in or coming out of the park so some driver is likely to be inconvenienced  either way.  In this case, it's you. It's frustrating but honestly, it's a whole ten? fifteen? seconds of waiting? Why bother getting upset about a few seconds?
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Lynnv on February 19, 2014, 11:25:21 PM
Not signaling is a problem.  Backing in, even if it delays someone else, is not.   Personally, I am with those who feel it is safer to back into a spot than out of one.   I strongly prefer spots I can pull through or back into to those I have to pull into head first. 

I do this both with the motorcycle and in my car.   In fact, I very seldom pull into a spot on the bike because I find it is so much safer to be pulling out head first.  People don't look for bikes well enough, so backing out is doubly dangerous, IMO. 
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: BeautifulDisaster on February 20, 2014, 12:16:55 AM
I always back in, as does my husband. Especially when driving the truck. My husband can back the truck into a parking spot faster then he can pull straight in. When it comes time to  leave, being backed in is safer for me and anyone walking/driving by the spot I am leaving. If someone behind me has to wait a few extra seconds when I'm parking so that leaving is safer; well, so be it. They can wait.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: CakeEater on February 20, 2014, 12:18:54 AM
I find waiting for backers annoying, too, OP, but I consider it more of a pet peeve of mine than something they're doing wrong.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: camlan on February 20, 2014, 04:58:56 AM
Yes, it does save time for the back in person.  The pull in person has to wait.  I guess the pull in person has more time to spare.

But drivers have to wait for the pull-in people to back out. Unless you pull through a spot, you will be backing up either to enter or exit your parking spot. And there's the possibility that someone will have to wait while you do that.

I drive a VW Beetle. It's low to the ground and small. I also dislike circling a parking lot for a space, so I tend to park way out where there are no other cars and it is safe to pull through to a space. Then my car must act like a magnet, because when I get back to it, I'm surrounded by large SUVs and minivans.

It's scary trying to back out of a space when you really can't see anything except the tiny bit of the aisle that is directly in back of your car. Can't see if anyone else is pulling out, can't see if a small child has escaped from a parent and is dancing around. Pulling out of a parking spot is safer for me and for everyone else in that parking lot.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: camlan on February 20, 2014, 05:01:58 AM
They really should be signalling.

On the other hand, they can now pull straight out of their spots when they leave, which will be faster than most drivers backing out of their spots.

Unless you can find two spots where you can drive through one and park in the second, you will be backing up at some point--either to park or to leave the parking spot.

My parking preferences are, in order 1) pull through, 2) back in, 3) pull straight in. I have noticed that other drivers are much more patient for drivers backing out of spots than drivers backing into parking spots.
But the time you take to back into the spot cancels out any time you save pulling out later.  And every time you back and fill to get into the spot exactly, the ratio worsens.

That's if you have to back and fill. Unless for some reason I can't get a good, clear shot at the parking space, I usually pull past the spot to position my car, put the car in reverse and back in with no backing and filling.

I only need to back and fill when parallel parking, because I don't get a lot of practice doing that.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: POF on February 20, 2014, 06:34:08 AM
I find waiting for backers annoying, too, OP, but I consider it more of a pet peeve of mine than something they're doing wrong.

Me too - when they can't do it efficiently.  They pull up and out and up and out and block the path - we are in a tight garage. my friend can whip her car right into the space - but I have been delayed 5 - 10 minutes with someone trying to shoehorn a big SUV.  Finally security walked around and told them to move out.  Cars backed up really bad.

I do think it is inconsiderate. If its rush hour and people are in a ling line behind you ... just do what is easiest !
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: siamesecat2965 on February 20, 2014, 07:07:43 AM
How does one signal one wants to back up? The turn signals indicate right and left; there isn't really one for backward, other than the back-up lights.

I suppose they simply come to a stop right in front of the place they want to park, and wait for people to go past?

or do they angle out to block the road and then back up?

I don't know, and have to be honest, I don't for that very reason. Maybe that makes me an SS, but if i were behind a car, and saw them signal right or left to pull into a spot, it wouldn't occur to me they might be backing in.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: DCGirl on February 20, 2014, 07:53:05 AM
What about the people who back in and end up blocking the sidewalk?  At my train station, there's a large group of people who back into the row of parking along the sidewalk in front of the station.  (These are also the people who race to their cars after they get off the train at the end of the day and take off out of their parking spaces like they've been shot from a cannon.)  The issue with their backing in is that their trunks overhang the sidewalk and make it difficult for people to walk.  Rude or not?
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: jaxsue on February 20, 2014, 07:54:34 AM
Yes, it does save time for the back in person.  The pull in person has to wait. I guess the pull in person has more time to spare.

Per the bolded: Is that comment really necessary?

I drive a lot, and so I use parking lots several times a week. I live in one of the most densely-crowded parts of the country. Being in a hurry here is just a waste of time. And no one likes waiting - it's part of human nature. Now, if someone's taking 5 minutes to back into a parking space, that annoyance is understandable. However, I've seen some drivers take forever to pull into a spot. The issue isn't whether they're pulling in or backing in, it usually depends on the skill of the driver. But a skilled driver can back into a spot as quickly as they can pull into that spot. We have a lot of parallel parking here; ya wanna talk having to wait while people get their cars into those spots? But it's life.

If I can, I park nose-out. But I also park far back in the lot. So while people are jockeying for spots near the store entrance, I'm going to the back where it's easy to pull-through (not illegal here). There are some town-owned lots where nose-out parking is banned, but there is signage for that.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: jaxsue on February 20, 2014, 07:58:08 AM
How does one signal one wants to back up? The turn signals indicate right and left; there isn't really one for backward, other than the back-up lights.

I suppose they simply come to a stop right in front of the place they want to park, and wait for people to go past?

or do they angle out to block the road and then back up?

You use the signal that indicates which side you're parking on. The left side, the left blinker, etc. As PP's have said, not using the blinkers, then suddenly backing up, can cause problems. And you don't have to be tailgating for it to be a problem
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: jaxsue on February 20, 2014, 08:02:26 AM
How does one signal one wants to back up? The turn signals indicate right and left; there isn't really one for backward, other than the back-up lights.

I suppose they simply come to a stop right in front of the place they want to park, and wait for people to go past?

or do they angle out to block the road and then back up?

I don't know, and have to be honest, I don't for that very reason. Maybe that makes me an SS, but if i were behind a car, and saw them signal right or left to pull into a spot, it wouldn't occur to me they might be backing in.

Using one's blinker to indicate that they're backing into a spot - whether it's parallel or a regular parking lot - is quite the norm where I live. It's to let other drivers know that you'll be using that spot. I'm not sure if this is regional, but if you brake, then start backing up without signaling, you'll probably be the recipient of some horn honking.

Edited to add: in NJ it's the law that you must use your signal before pulling into parallel parking. As for other parking lots, it may not be a law, but it's the kind thing to do for fellow driver.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: jaxsue on February 20, 2014, 08:03:31 AM
What about the people who back in and end up blocking the sidewalk?  At my train station, there's a large group of people who back into the row of parking along the sidewalk in front of the station.  (These are also the people who race to their cars after they get off the train at the end of the day and take off out of their parking spaces like they've been shot from a cannon.)  The issue with their backing in is that their trunks overhang the sidewalk and make it difficult for people to walk.  Rude or not?

How could that not be rude?
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Team HoundMom on February 20, 2014, 09:10:27 AM
I ALWAYS back into spots because I was taught in driver's ed that it's safer to leave the spot going forwards than to back out of a spot. I am simply more comfortable and feel safer pulling out forwards. 

If someone is following behind me in a parking lot I usually keep on truckin' until I find another spot where I can back in without making someone wait. 

Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: jaxsue on February 20, 2014, 09:19:01 AM
I ALWAYS back into spots because I was taught in driver's ed that it's safer to leave the spot going forwards than to back out of a spot. I am simply more comfortable and feel safer pulling out forwards. 

If someone is following behind me in a parking lot I usually keep on truckin' until I find another spot where I can back in without making someone wait.

I don't know about other regions, but around here (NJ) police cars are always parked nose-out. Probably for a quick get-away if necessary? I like parking nose-out because it's safer. I don't trust parents to corral little kids, and some pedestrians aren't aware of their surroundings (and neither are some drivers, of course). But I do it in the 'back 40,' where there are usually plenty of spots.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: ladyknight1 on February 20, 2014, 09:23:22 AM
It is posted as illegal in all parking lots and garages at my university because the lots are not designed for it. People who do back in get their cars towed and a $250 fine.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: jaxsue on February 20, 2014, 10:46:00 AM
It is posted as illegal in all parking lots and garages at my university because the lots are not designed for it. People who do back in get their cars towed and a $250 fine.

And that's when you'd obey the rules. 90% of the parking I do is in large parking lots (grocery stores), where you can park either way.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MrTango on February 20, 2014, 10:57:34 AM
Yes, it does save time for the back in person.  The pull in person has to wait.  I guess the pull in person has more time to spare.

When you're at the grocery store, a person might choose to write a check and request cash back from the cashier, both of which take longer than just using a credit card.  That doesn't mean they're being rude to the person behind them in line.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: VorFemme on February 20, 2014, 11:29:20 AM
It might be safer to pull out of a parking space going forward than in reverse - but what about when you pulled through to park in a spot that now has you going the wrong way down a one way aisle of the parking lot? 

I feel safer pulling out if I am going "with the flow" of traffic and not safe at all on a one way lane with someone coming at me because they are pulling through and coming straight at me.  Or the person who absent-mindedly is going up & down each row without paying attention when the wider two way aisle has changed to a one way aisle...they aren't going to find an empty spot to pull into as they are going opposite the flow of traffic on a narrower lane - and if they do back into a parking space, then when they pull out, they will again be driving head on into the oncoming cars. 

It gets worse when there are a lot of people walking around, some with carts, some just with bags in their hands, because they fit between two SUVs or large pickups and can't be seen until the last second (at least some of the time they can't).  Drivers end up watching for vehicles going with the flow of traffic, against the flow of expected traffic (One way aisles), pedestrians coming out of blind spots, and pedestrians walking up the middle of the driving lane - not to mention carts rolling out into the driving lane.

And I do prefer pulling through - even if it means I park six spaces past the full ones so that I can SEE what is going on and that I'm not going to be pulling out into traffic that will end up hitting my passenger side front corner or front because I'm turning into oncoming traffic as I get out.  I want to drive home - not wait for police & a tow truck!
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Really? on February 20, 2014, 11:40:14 AM
Hi

I will either back into a spot or drive in, depending on the spot.

ideally there is room for everyone to just pull in, but there are certain spots that there is room for a car to park illegally. Set up like.

car1 car1 car1

2  2  2 -illegally parked
c  c  c
a a  a
r  r  r

If I am a Car1 and pulled into the space adn someone parks where #2 is, then I have no room to back out. I don't know how many times I have  had this happen. Cars knowingly park there when there is no room to get out for those of us legally parked. I have unfortunately scrapped others cars when trying to get, so know this first  hand. (thought there was room and proved wrong).

Last company I worked for I had an emergency doc's appointment and had the car paged 3 or 4 times and the company would not call for a tow truck. I was not in a pleasant mood with that one.

Maureen
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: esposita on February 20, 2014, 11:55:07 AM
It might be safer to pull out of a parking space going forward than in reverse - but what about when you pulled through to park in a spot that now has you going the wrong way down a one way aisle of the parking lot? 

I don't pull through or back in when I'm in a lot with slanted spots. I find it rude to go down an obviously up aisle, or vice versa. It is somewhat easier to back up (out) anyway when the slots are slanted, though I much prefer backing in, or pulling through (only in a nearly empty part of the lot), in lots with non-slanted parking spaces.

Edited for clarity
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: jaxsue on February 20, 2014, 12:16:28 PM
It might be safer to pull out of a parking space going forward than in reverse - but what about when you pulled through to park in a spot that now has you going the wrong way down a one way aisle of the parking lot? 

I don't pull through or back in when I'm in a lot with slanted spots. I find it rude to go down an obviously up aisle, or vice versa. It is somewhat easier to back up anyway when the slots are slanted, though I much prefer backing in, or pulling through (only in a nearly empty part of the lot), in lots with non-slanted parking spaces.

Exactly. Where I live, lots have 2-way lanes and the parking spots are straight, not slanted. I would never pull through in a parking lot with 1-way lanes and slanted spots. So, it's a moot point IME.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: shhh its me on February 20, 2014, 12:25:00 PM
How does one signal one wants to back up? The turn signals indicate right and left; there isn't really one for backward, other than the back-up lights.

I suppose they simply come to a stop right in front of the place they want to park, and wait for people to go past?

or do they angle out to block the road and then back up?

The same way you do when you parallel park.  If someone is close behind me I stop for a  fraction of a second put my signal on and then pull forward to back in.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: gen xer on February 20, 2014, 01:59:06 PM
 I prefer to back in but I won't do it if a lot is busy and I don't think I can be quick or efficient about it.  Backing in per se isn't rude....but if you don't know what you're doing and you're holding people up....then it's kind of inconsiderate.  Not egregiously so...but  a little.

It's annoying to be sitting there while someone makes 50 million back and forth turns trying to back in and they just aren't any good at it.  For Pete's sake just drive in.

It will really amp up my peeve level if the person attempting it is driving an enormous van or SUV that they obviously can't handle.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: GoTwins on February 20, 2014, 02:10:21 PM
It might be safer to pull out of a parking space going forward than in reverse - but what about when you pulled through to park in a spot that now has you going the wrong way down a one way aisle of the parking lot? 

I don't pull through or back in when I'm in a lot with slanted spots. I find it rude to go down an obviously up aisle, or vice versa. It is somewhat easier to back up anyway when the slots are slanted, though I much prefer backing in, or pulling through (only in a nearly empty part of the lot), in lots with non-slanted parking spaces.

Exactly. Where I live, lots have 2-way lanes and the parking spots are straight, not slanted. I would never pull through in a parking lot with 1-way lanes and slanted spots. So, it's a moot point IME.
Most of the parking lots around me are angled spots with 1-way lanes. A few people will still pull through and then end up going the wrong way when they leave. I find that very rude.
If a lot has straight spots then it's just personal preference. I don't find any of the options rude. I've never even thought about it unless I'm pulling into a spot and someone trying to pull through almost hits me head on because they're not paying attention.  :P
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: siamesecat2965 on February 20, 2014, 02:12:56 PM
It might be safer to pull out of a parking space going forward than in reverse - but what about when you pulled through to park in a spot that now has you going the wrong way down a one way aisle of the parking lot? 

I don't pull through or back in when I'm in a lot with slanted spots. I find it rude to go down an obviously up aisle, or vice versa. It is somewhat easier to back up anyway when the slots are slanted, though I much prefer backing in, or pulling through (only in a nearly empty part of the lot), in lots with non-slanted parking spaces.

Exactly. Where I live, lots have 2-way lanes and the parking spots are straight, not slanted. I would never pull through in a parking lot with 1-way lanes and slanted spots. So, it's a moot point IME.

Yup. Me too. I can't think of any lots that have the slanted, one way parking aisles anywhere near me. By my mom in VA, in the huge outlet center, there's one area of parking where its like that; but there are curbs between each row, so even if you wanted to pull through, its just not possible.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: TootsNYC on February 20, 2014, 02:52:00 PM
Yes, it does save time for the back in person.  The pull in person has to wait.  I guess the pull in person has more time to spare.

When you're at the grocery store, a person might choose to write a check and request cash back from the cashier, both of which take longer than just using a credit card.  That doesn't mean they're being rude to the person behind them in line.

In fact, MOM21SON, might not you yourself do something like put all your change away in your wallet, and zip it securely into your purse, before you step away from the cashier's station?

Or, wait for an oncoming car to clear the lane before you turn left--waiting longer than other people might, perhaps, because you feel nervous even if they don't? And you think it's safer?

We're entitled to live our lives in a reasonable manner, and to do reasonable things, even if they do inconvenience other people.

It is not required for us to do things that are inconvenient for us simply to avoid inconveniencing someone else.

Other people are going to get in your way now and then. That doesn't make them inconsiderate, and it sure doesn't make them rude.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MOM21SON on February 20, 2014, 04:14:12 PM
You both took my post way out context.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: jaxsue on February 20, 2014, 04:19:11 PM
Yes, it does save time for the back in person.  The pull in person has to wait.  I guess the pull in person has more time to spare.

When you're at the grocery store, a person might choose to write a check and request cash back from the cashier, both of which take longer than just using a credit card.  That doesn't mean they're being rude to the person behind them in line.

In fact, MOM21SON, might not you yourself do something like put all your change away in your wallet, and zip it securely into your purse, before you step away from the cashier's station?

Or, wait for an oncoming car to clear the lane before you turn left--waiting longer than other people might, perhaps, because you feel nervous even if they don't? And you think it's safer?

We're entitled to live our lives in a reasonable manner, and to do reasonable things, even if they do inconvenience other people.

It is not required for us to do things that are inconvenient for us simply to avoid inconveniencing someone else.

Other people are going to get in your way now and then. That doesn't make them inconsiderate, and it sure doesn't make them rude.

Agreed. There are times I'll feel annoyance when someone is taking what feels like too long to perform a task. But that doesn't mean they're being rude. I have to adjust my attitude.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MOM21SON on February 20, 2014, 04:25:22 PM
Yes, it does save time for the back in person.  The pull in person has to wait.  I guess the pull in person has more time to spare.

When you're at the grocery store, a person might choose to write a check and request cash back from the cashier, both of which take longer than just using a credit card.  That doesn't mean they're being rude to the person behind them in line.

In fact, MOM21SON, might not you yourself do something like put all your change away in your wallet, and zip it securely into your purse, before you step away from the cashier's station?

Or, wait for an oncoming car to clear the lane before you turn left--waiting longer than other people might, perhaps, because you feel nervous even if they don't? And you think it's safer?

We're entitled to live our lives in a reasonable manner, and to do reasonable things, even if they do inconvenience other people.

It is not required for us to do things that are inconvenient for us simply to avoid inconveniencing someone else.

Other people are going to get in your way now and then. That doesn't make them inconsiderate, and it sure doesn't make them rude.

Agreed. There are times I'll feel annoyance when someone is taking what feels like too long to perform a task. But that doesn't mean they're being rude. I have to adjust my attitude.

Waiting is a part of life, I never said that was rude!  I was responding to the poster that said, it saved time to back in.  Yes, it saves time for the back in poster, not so for the pull in poster.  That is all I was saying. 
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: cross_patch on February 20, 2014, 05:13:42 PM
Yes, it does save time for the back in person.  The pull in person has to wait.  I guess the pull in person has more time to spare.

When you're at the grocery store, a person might choose to write a check and request cash back from the cashier, both of which take longer than just using a credit card.  That doesn't mean they're being rude to the person behind them in line.

In fact, MOM21SON, might not you yourself do something like put all your change away in your wallet, and zip it securely into your purse, before you step away from the cashier's station?

Or, wait for an oncoming car to clear the lane before you turn left--waiting longer than other people might, perhaps, because you feel nervous even if they don't? And you think it's safer?

We're entitled to live our lives in a reasonable manner, and to do reasonable things, even if they do inconvenience other people.

It is not required for us to do things that are inconvenient for us simply to avoid inconveniencing someone else.

Other people are going to get in your way now and then. That doesn't make them inconsiderate, and it sure doesn't make them rude.

Agreed. There are times I'll feel annoyance when someone is taking what feels like too long to perform a task. But that doesn't mean they're being rude. I have to adjust my attitude.

Waiting is a part of life, I never said that was rude!  I was responding to the poster that said, it saved time to back in.  Yes, it saves time for the back in poster, not so for the pull in poster.  That is all I was saying.

But the way you phrased it clearly implied that the person backing in was doing something wrong and inconsiderate by backing in  - I guess the pull in person has more time to wait. It seems disingenuous to suggest that posters are taking your words out of context.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Bluenomi on February 20, 2014, 05:54:18 PM
I think reversing into a spot is fine as long as you know how to do it. One lady who works in my building always reverses into a spot but is really bad at it (even after years of practice) It takes hers ages of driving backwards and forwards to get in. Meanwhile a line of cars is building up behind her, up the entrance ramp to the boom gate, along the road....

I never reverse in partly because I know I'm bad at it and don't want to hold people up and partly because if i reverse in and there is another row of cars behind I can't get the pram out. I only know of one place where you have to reverse into spots and I avoid it.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Mary Lennox on February 20, 2014, 07:06:38 PM
It might be safer to pull out of a parking space going forward than in reverse - but what about when you pulled through to park in a spot that now has you going the wrong way down a one way aisle of the parking lot? 

Unless the spaces are angled in some way, I don't understand how you could end up going the wrong way, unless you really aren't paying attention to the traffic around you. If all the cars are going to your left, wouldn't you just drive out of the space and go to the left?
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MrTango on February 20, 2014, 07:15:40 PM
It might be safer to pull out of a parking space going forward than in reverse - but what about when you pulled through to park in a spot that now has you going the wrong way down a one way aisle of the parking lot? 

Unless the spaces are angled in some way, I don't understand how you could end up going the wrong way, unless you really aren't paying attention to the traffic around you. If all the cars are going to your left, wouldn't you just drive out of the space and go to the left?

Some parking lots are designed in a way that backing into a spot or pulling through to a spot are not an option.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Mary Lennox on February 20, 2014, 07:20:49 PM
It might be safer to pull out of a parking space going forward than in reverse - but what about when you pulled through to park in a spot that now has you going the wrong way down a one way aisle of the parking lot? 

Unless the spaces are angled in some way, I don't understand how you could end up going the wrong way, unless you really aren't paying attention to the traffic around you. If all the cars are going to your left, wouldn't you just drive out of the space and go to the left?

Some parking lots are designed in a way that backing into a spot or pulling through to a spot are not an option.

So if they aren't options, why would you do it? If they aren't designed for backing in or pulling through, why would you deliberately park in those ways?
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MrTango on February 20, 2014, 07:25:45 PM
It might be safer to pull out of a parking space going forward than in reverse - but what about when you pulled through to park in a spot that now has you going the wrong way down a one way aisle of the parking lot? 

Unless the spaces are angled in some way, I don't understand how you could end up going the wrong way, unless you really aren't paying attention to the traffic around you. If all the cars are going to your left, wouldn't you just drive out of the space and go to the left?

Some parking lots are designed in a way that backing into a spot or pulling through to a spot are not an option.

So if they aren't options, why would you do it? If they aren't designed for backing in or pulling through, why would you deliberately park in those ways?

I wouldn't.  I tend to avoid malls/stores that have their lots arranged that way, but if I have to go to one, I park according to the convention of that lot.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: lady_disdain on February 21, 2014, 05:28:50 AM
You both took my post way out context.

Would you mind explaining what you meant, please? To me, it sounded very similar to how other posters interpreted it but I am glad to know that is not what you meant.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: perpetua on February 21, 2014, 07:17:21 AM
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.

Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MrTango on February 21, 2014, 07:51:55 AM
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.
Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.

I completely agree, especially the bolded.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Tierrainney on February 21, 2014, 08:48:05 AM
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.
Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.

I completely agree, especially the bolded.

Me too. With one extra issue is that I see more of the backed into space cars that are not centered properly within the lines. So I will drive up thinking I see an open space only to find that the backed in car has one or both tires on or over the painted line. They leave themselves extra room on the driver's side, but encroach on the other side so I can't fit there. Bonus points for a line of backed in cars doing this so that eventually you will see 5 cars using 7 spaces or more.

I will admit this could be reporter bias as my favorite part of the parking lot at church has recently seen an increasing number of backed in cars doing this so that I have to park twice as far from the doors as I used to park.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: tinkytinky on February 21, 2014, 09:23:03 AM
Not using the turn signal is rude. The backing in is not rude per se, but it is annoying to the car(s) waiting. If I am behind someone wanting to back into a space, they need to let me know (blinker) so that I can stay back. If not, they run the risk of me being too close for them to back in and I may be unable to back up due to a lot of cars behind me. Same goes for parallel parking. if you want the spot, and there is a number of cars behind you, give proper signal.

As for pulling thru so the vehicle is facing out, I don't have a problem if I can see they are moving. When they have pulled in, I can see the reverse lights and know to be cautious of them backing out or wait so I can get their spot. But you don't know if they are pulling out until they are moving. I personally only like to pull my car thru if I know that I will be able to see to get out. And I have had big vehicles pull close enough to the back of my car (small SUV or minivan) that I can't get the gate up and have to pull out anyway to load my groceries. It also makes it more difficult to load the children when you can't walk behind/between the vehicles and have to walk in the traffic to get them in the doors.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: TootsNYC on February 21, 2014, 11:11:10 AM
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.

Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.

But it's not rude to have inadequate driving skills. And I've been known to inconvenience people when I'm pulling *into* a parking space head-on.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: wolfie on February 21, 2014, 11:18:19 AM

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.


Not necessarily. I am not good at backing into parking spaces so i don't do it, but I can back quickly out of the space because there is a lot more room to maneuver
 around - I am not trying to get into a small space.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: perpetua on February 21, 2014, 11:19:02 AM
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.

Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.

But it's not rude to have inadequate driving skills. And I've been known to inconvenience people when I'm pulling *into* a parking space head-on.

I think it can be, actually, if you're subjecting other road users to them, depending on what those inadequate skills are.

I think we're basically in agreement - it's not rude to back into a space, at *all*.

But if you try to do it, knowing you won't be able to do it without holding people up - in other words, backing up, pulling back out, straightening up, backing in again, pulling out to straighten up some more because you can't do it right the first time - does that then make it rude? Because then it's starting to veer into rudeness to me, or at least obliviousness.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Roodabega on February 21, 2014, 11:20:43 AM
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.

Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.

Backing in isn't an inherited skill any more than driving is.  It takes practice.  Even the best drivers probably took a few tries to master the skill.  Just like the first few times driving they probably didn't drive well.  It's OK to feel annoyance that a person is taking longer than average to do something.  It doesn't make them wrong to do it or make them rude.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: perpetua on February 21, 2014, 11:27:42 AM
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.

Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.

Backing in isn't an inherited skill any more than driving is.  It takes practice.  Even the best drivers probably took a few tries to master the skill.  Just like the first few times driving they probably didn't drive well.  It's OK to feel annoyance that a person is taking longer than average to do something.  It doesn't make them wrong to do it or make them rude.

Well, I don't know. I tend to think that if you can't do these things, how have you passed your test in the first place? (I'm aware that our driving test is more stringent, though). Apply that to any skill that a driver really ought to have.  It amazes me the number of people who drive about all day quite happily but also say things like 'I don't know how to merge' or 'I can't parallel park' or 'I can't pull away off a hill without rolling back so everyone needs to give me space'. How do some of these people have licences? It puzzles me.

Re needing practice, I suppose it's a bit like the 'teaching your child about transactions' thread we had a while back. Not rude, but it's inconsiderate to do it when you're holding up a line. If you know you can't back into a space and need practice, then the polite thing to do would be to practice in an empty car park a few times first before trying to do it on a Saturday morning in the local Sainsbury's car park when it's full of shoppers.

But, backing into spaces in and of itself isn't rude.  And certainly in the case of parallel parking, it's actually quicker.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: TootsNYC on February 21, 2014, 11:28:33 AM
And I suppose there's an argument that it's not particularly considerate to do your practicing in a way that inconveniences a lot of people--but then, were I thinking I needed practice, I'd stop by that space and wait for you to go past me.

And, someone who is normally moderately good at it (or even pretty good at it) can end up getting a "bad bite" (as my DH calls it) and needing a bit more back-and-forth -this time.-

Other people are going to inconvenience you sometimes. And now and then, you may be that "inconvenient other person" to someone else. You know, "excuse me for living," as they say.  ;)
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Betelnut on February 21, 2014, 11:34:13 AM

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.


Not necessarily. I am not good at backing into parking spaces so i don't do it, but I can back quickly out of the space because there is a lot more room to maneuver around - I am not trying to get into a small space.

This is me.  I'm pretty terrible at backing up and wouldn't do it into a space--I would definitely have to try several times and I would be anxious the whole time that I would hit the other cars.  Backing up to get out is much easier since you have the whole road/lane to back into.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: GoTwins on February 21, 2014, 12:00:28 PM
Lots of companies here have a "back in, head out only" policy. This is because statistically, it was found more accidents were happening when first move was in reverse than when the first move was in drive. It's easier to see pedestrians or oncoming traffic in front of the vehicle than behind, after all. Also, in an emergency situation it's a lot easier to get out quickly in drive than reverse. So, back in parking has become second nature for many of those workers, who have taken it with them to the gym and grocery store.
If I back into a spot at the grocery store with our Suzuki Grand Vitara I'd never be able to get the groceries in the vehicle. It has a large door on the back that swings open from the side. If a vehicle is parked in the spot behind me I wouldn't be able to get the door open to load the groceries (yes, the door is that wide and has the spare tire mounted on it). Not to mention that squeezing a shopping cart between 2 cars is sometimes difficult.
Another reason people should be able to park as they choose as long as they take up only 1 space and aren't going the wrong way down a 1-way aisle.
With all the real rudeness witnessed in parking lots, I still can't believe anyone would care about head in/out parking.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: gen xer on February 21, 2014, 12:21:51 PM
And I suppose there's an argument that it's not particularly considerate to do your practicing in a way that inconveniences a lot of people--but then, were I thinking I needed practice, I'd stop by that space and wait for you to go past me.

And, someone who is normally moderately good at it (or even pretty good at it) can end up getting a "bad bite" (as my DH calls it) and needing a bit more back-and-forth -this time.-

Other people are going to inconvenience you sometimes. And now and then, you may be that "inconvenient other person" to someone else. You know, "excuse me for living," as they say.  ;)

Yeah we all have our "bad bites" so that is a good point.  Inconvenience happens sometimes.  I think in general just a good level of awareness is what is needed.  If normally you are pretty good at it and you just have an off day...well that's life.  But if you "always" need a kajillion little back and forths and it "always" takes you ten times longer than it should then it is crossing the line into inconsiderate.

Of course we can't really tell which is which.  I am sure that on my "off days" I have had people fuming and making uncharitable observations about my driving skills.....and I certainly would think it rude to start blasting the horn and making gestures to some poor hapless backer inner.

But have you ever seen those stunned, vacuous looking people trying to back in and it's like they have no cognizance of what is going on around them?  At least when I occasionally mess up I have the decency to look ashamed. ;)
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Jones on February 21, 2014, 12:23:09 PM
Lots of companies here have a "back in, head out only" policy. This is because statistically, it was found more accidents were happening when first move was in reverse than when the first move was in drive. It's easier to see pedestrians or oncoming traffic in front of the vehicle than behind, after all. Also, in an emergency situation it's a lot easier to get out quickly in drive than reverse. So, back in parking has become second nature for many of those workers, who have taken it with them to the gym and grocery store.
If I back into a spot at the grocery store with our Suzuki Grand Vitara I'd never be able to get the groceries in the vehicle. It has a large door on the back that swings open from the side. If a vehicle is parked in the spot behind me I wouldn't be able to get the door open to load the groceries (yes, the door is that wide and has the spare tire mounted on it). Not to mention that squeezing a shopping cart between 2 cars is sometimes difficult.
Another reason people should be able to park as they choose as long as they take up only 1 space and aren't going the wrong way down a 1-way aisle.
With all the real rudeness witnessed in parking lots, I still can't believe anyone would care about head in/out parking.
First, I agree with you on the fact people should be able to park head in or out as they so choose.

I also wanted to clarify I live in a "pickup truck" town. Most backuppers just toss their bags into a box in the truck bed. I've also seen those not in pickups pull their vehicle forward a bit to get the hatch open.  Which almost begs the question...is it more rude to stand in the parking aisle unloading a cart, or have the nose of a car poking out of the parking space about the same distance?  ;)  ;D

Rhetorical question as I've never seen anyone inconvenienced by either choice, don't want the thread dissolving into meaningless argument, and just wanted to point out another "darned if you do, darned if you don't" parking situation that truly isn't rude, just part of life.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: wolfie on February 21, 2014, 12:51:37 PM
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.

Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.

Backing in isn't an inherited skill any more than driving is.  It takes practice.  Even the best drivers probably took a few tries to master the skill.  Just like the first few times driving they probably didn't drive well.  It's OK to feel annoyance that a person is taking longer than average to do something.  It doesn't make them wrong to do it or make them rude.

Well, I don't know. I tend to think that if you can't do these things, how have you passed your test in the first place? (I'm aware that our driving test is more stringent, though). Apply that to any skill that a driver really ought to have.  It amazes me the number of people who drive about all day quite happily but also say

I needed to parallel park for my driving test and I could do it. But that was well over 20 years ago - I haven't needed to do it since so I am not comfortable doing it. I could if I really needed to but I like to avoid it.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: marcel on February 21, 2014, 02:26:08 PM
Those who think that pulling in forward is easeir and quicker then backing in must be living in places where the lanes and parking spots are pretty wide.
Apart from the added safety, as explained by others, you keep your manouivrability when backing into a spot, making parking in a tight spot easier. I regularly park in places where pulling in forward is not possible or difficult, but backing in is a quick and easy manoeuvre.

As an example of what I mean, when the space you parki in is just wide enough to get out of your car, then you have to be almost completely lined up with the spot before your front wheels go between the cars to your side. When backing into  a spot, you can still manoeuver a lot with yopur front when you are between the cars, meaning that you have to be less lined up when getting between the other cars. Due to this, you can then park with smaller lanes as well.

I do think we have often have smaller spots here then in the US, but most people back into a spot anyway, regardless of how much space they have.

As for the pulling in and back, this happens both with people backing in and with people pulling in forward. A good reason why people backing in may do it a bit more is also that, due to above mentioned reasons, it is actualy easier to cerrect their position with a quick out and in, then for the person pulling forward, and it is also safer to do this for them.

I would like to point out, that I think that in daily live I see more people backing in then pulling forward here (anecdotal, but I just stepped out and there are at the moment 15 cars parked in my street, 4 forward and 11 back.) Apart from the more often tight spaces, another major difference with countries where many people posting here come from is that over here only professionals are allowed to teach people to drive, and they will teahc you to park (both perpendicular and paralel) by backing into a space.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Arila on February 21, 2014, 02:30:59 PM
Yes, Marcel, the parking in the US (especially in the west/cities & areas primarily built up after cars were common) is a lot easier than in Europe.

I literally had to close my eyes and plug my ears while watching someone park in a multistory car-park in Vienna, for example -- eeeek! The UK almost as bad, but DH is from there and so he drives when we visit.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: perpetua on February 21, 2014, 02:31:45 PM
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.

Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.

Backing in isn't an inherited skill any more than driving is.  It takes practice.  Even the best drivers probably took a few tries to master the skill.  Just like the first few times driving they probably didn't drive well.  It's OK to feel annoyance that a person is taking longer than average to do something.  It doesn't make them wrong to do it or make them rude.

Well, I don't know. I tend to think that if you can't do these things, how have you passed your test in the first place? (I'm aware that our driving test is more stringent, though). Apply that to any skill that a driver really ought to have.  It amazes me the number of people who drive about all day quite happily but also say

I needed to parallel park for my driving test and I could do it. But that was well over 20 years ago - I haven't needed to do it since so I am not comfortable doing it. I could if I really needed to but I like to avoid it.

I wonder how it is that you've never needed to do it. You have a driveway at home and don't have to park on the street? All the shops you go to have car parks and you don't need to park on a street? Etc? Interesting. May be an infrastructure thing.

Where I live I have to parallel park all the time because I'm usually parked on a street of some description, and it's been like that since I passed my test nearly 25 years ago. The only time I park in a car park with lined spaces is when I go to Sainsbury's or the like to do my weekly shop or if I use a multistorey car park in a town centre (which isn't often since I live in a big city.)

Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: TootsNYC on February 21, 2014, 02:42:15 PM

I wonder how it is that you've never needed to do it. You have a driveway at home and don't have to park on the street? All the shops you go to have car parks and you don't need to park on a street? Etc? Interesting. May be an infrastructure thing.

Where I live I have to parallel park all the time because I'm usually parked on a street of some description, and it's been like that since I passed my test nearly 25 years ago. The only time I park in a car park with lined spaces is when I go to Sainsbury's or the like to do my weekly shop or if I use a multistorey car park in a town centre (which isn't often since I live in a big city.)

Don't assume that where you live is at all like where other people live!

1) you live in the UK, and the US has tons more elbow room for cars than an old country like Britain.

2) you live in a big city--they are VERY different from other places.

Many, many people never need to parallel park.

On-street parking is not that common in many US cities, because parking lots are ubiquitous in many cities, especially in commercial or retail places.
  My mom & dad live in Des Moines, which is the state's biggest city. Normally they never, ever need to parallel park. The only parallel-parking spaces are in the city center, where there are also many lots, and where few people go.

Some on-street parking is head-in, actually

Or, on-street parking doesn't require parallel parking, because there just aren't that many cars parking on the side of the street in a great many residential areas. So you  may park parallel to the curb, but you aren't maneuvering into a car-sized shape, because you've got a huge stretch of empty curb to simply pull up beside.

Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: camlan on February 21, 2014, 03:00:27 PM

I wonder how it is that you've never needed to do it. You have a driveway at home and don't have to park on the street? All the shops you go to have car parks and you don't need to park on a street? Etc? Interesting. May be an infrastructure thing.

Where I live I have to parallel park all the time because I'm usually parked on a street of some description, and it's been like that since I passed my test nearly 25 years ago. The only time I park in a car park with lined spaces is when I go to Sainsbury's or the like to do my weekly shop or if I use a multistorey car park in a town centre (which isn't often since I live in a big city.)

In the US, unless you live in a city, you probably have a driveway. Most likely, you also have a garage. The newer your home, the greater the chances of having both. And even on the outskirts of many cities, houses will at least have a driveway. I used to live in a neighborhood of Boston that was built up in the 1920s, before car ownership was common. Driveways were added later and they just barely fit between the houses.

Newer communities with HOAs sometimes even have rules about parking in the garage first, then the driveway and only then on the street.

Many cities have parking lots centrally located. I live in a small city of about 30,000. There are two large city-owned parking lots in the center of the city to allow access to the stores in the area. Along the busiest stretch of Main Street, there is head-on parking. There is parallel parking along some of the side streets, but some are too narrow to allow cars to park (the result of streets being laid out long before cars were invented.) The residential streets have parallel parking, but mostly that is for visitors, as people tend to park in their driveways. I have to parallel park if the church parking lot is full, but on a weekly basis, that's about the only time I do so.

My city prohibits on-street parking from midnight to 6 am from December to April, because of snow. So you either have a driveway or garage or both, or you have to park in one of 4 designated parking lots in the center of town.

When I took driving lessons in the late 1980s, my instructor wasn't even going to teach me how to parallel park--he didn't think I'd ever need to know how. I had to convince him that I visited Boston often and would need the skill there before he'd show me. 
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Onyx_TKD on February 21, 2014, 03:06:56 PM
Well, I don't know. I tend to think that if you can't do these things, how have you passed your test in the first place? (I'm aware that our driving test is more stringent, though). Apply that to any skill that a driver really ought to have.  It amazes me the number of people who drive about all day quite happily but also say things like 'I don't know how to merge' or 'I can't parallel park' or 'I can't pull away off a hill without rolling back so everyone needs to give me space'. How do some of these people have licences? It puzzles me.

When I took my drivers' test, I had to reverse down a short stretch of straight road and parallel park. Backing into a parking-lot style space was not involved.

As for rolling back on a hill, I assume that was in a manual transmission car? In the USA, the default for cars is automatic transmission, so a lot of people learned to drive and took their tests in automatics. The drivers' license doesn't distinguish between them. So, for example, I learned to drive and took my test in my mom's automatic. I learned to drive a manual several years later. I drove one pretty regularly for a couple of years, but I was in a pretty flat area that didn't give me a great deal of practice starting on steep grades. I don't think I roll back substantially, but I'm still nervous if I have to pull away on a hill in a manual and someone is right on my bumper.

I wonder how it is that you've never needed to do it. You have a driveway at home and don't have to park on the street? All the shops you go to have car parks and you don't need to park on a street? Etc? Interesting. May be an infrastructure thing.

Like Toots and camlan described, stores where I've lived (at least where I've lived and had a car  ;)) generally do have parking lots. Not only do houses generally have driveways, but all the apartments I've lived in have had head-in parking, too, either in a parking lot or a garage. There are also places in my hometown where there is diagonal, head-in street parking. I think people generally learn what they need to pass their tests, but what sticks for the long term is whatever they actually use on a regular basis. For example, if you went to my hometown, a lot of drivers are accustomed to parallel parking with the drivers' side to the curb (in addition to the normal parallel parking with passengers' side to the curb) because we have a unusually large number of one-way streets with parallel parking on both sides. People from cities without that structure would probably be baffled why we are accustomed to parking on the "wrong" side! (The "wrong-side" parallel parking is not covered on the drivers' test!  ;D)
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: perpetua on February 21, 2014, 03:20:36 PM

I wonder how it is that you've never needed to do it. You have a driveway at home and don't have to park on the street? All the shops you go to have car parks and you don't need to park on a street? Etc? Interesting. May be an infrastructure thing.

Where I live I have to parallel park all the time because I'm usually parked on a street of some description, and it's been like that since I passed my test nearly 25 years ago. The only time I park in a car park with lined spaces is when I go to Sainsbury's or the like to do my weekly shop or if I use a multistorey car park in a town centre (which isn't often since I live in a big city.)

Don't assume that where you live is at all like where other people live!


Goodness, I'm not. Quite the contrary. I was interested in the differences. I thought that was clear in my post by my quoting examples.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: perpetua on February 21, 2014, 03:24:21 PM
Well, I don't know. I tend to think that if you can't do these things, how have you passed your test in the first place? (I'm aware that our driving test is more stringent, though). Apply that to any skill that a driver really ought to have.  It amazes me the number of people who drive about all day quite happily but also say things like 'I don't know how to merge' or 'I can't parallel park' or 'I can't pull away off a hill without rolling back so everyone needs to give me space'. How do some of these people have licences? It puzzles me.

When I took my drivers' test, I had to reverse down a short stretch of straight road and parallel park. Backing into a parking-lot style space was not involved.

As for rolling back on a hill, I assume that was in a manual transmission car? In the USA, the default for cars is automatic transmission, so a lot of people learned to drive and took their tests in automatics. The drivers' license doesn't distinguish between them. So, for example, I learned to drive and took my test in my mom's automatic. I learned to drive a manual several years later. I drove one pretty regularly for a couple of years, but I was in a pretty flat area that didn't give me a great deal of practice starting on steep grades. I don't think I roll back substantially, but I'm still nervous if I have to pull away on a hill in a manual and someone is right on my bumper.


Yeah, and I think it was that very situation too; people who'd learned in an auto, then switched to manual, and couldn't get the hang of pulling away uphill without rolling back.

Here, the default is to learn in a manual. You can learn in an auto, but then you only have an automatic licence and can't legally drive a manual without taking a manual test. The hill start is also part of our driving test.

Slight hijack, sorry!
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: camlan on February 21, 2014, 03:53:29 PM
Well, I don't know. I tend to think that if you can't do these things, how have you passed your test in the first place? (I'm aware that our driving test is more stringent, though). Apply that to any skill that a driver really ought to have.  It amazes me the number of people who drive about all day quite happily but also say things like 'I don't know how to merge' or 'I can't parallel park' or 'I can't pull away off a hill without rolling back so everyone needs to give me space'. How do some of these people have licences? It puzzles me.

When I took my drivers' test, I had to reverse down a short stretch of straight road and parallel park. Backing into a parking-lot style space was not involved.

As for rolling back on a hill, I assume that was in a manual transmission car? In the USA, the default for cars is automatic transmission, so a lot of people learned to drive and took their tests in automatics. The drivers' license doesn't distinguish between them. So, for example, I learned to drive and took my test in my mom's automatic. I learned to drive a manual several years later. I drove one pretty regularly for a couple of years, but I was in a pretty flat area that didn't give me a great deal of practice starting on steep grades. I don't think I roll back substantially, but I'm still nervous if I have to pull away on a hill in a manual and someone is right on my bumper.


Yeah, and I think it was that very situation too; people who'd learned in an auto, then switched to manual, and couldn't get the hang of pulling away uphill without rolling back.

Here, the default is to learn in a manual. You can learn in an auto, but then you only have an automatic licence and can't legally drive a manual without taking a manual test. The hill start is also part of our driving test.

Slight hijack, sorry!

Perpetua, I'm not sure where you live, but I'm guessing it's not the US. My cousin lived in England for several years and eventually got a driver's license there--she said it was way harder than getting a license in the States.

My driver's test consisted of answering 15 questions about things like right of way and where to stop behind a stopped school bus, and 15 minutes on the road with an inspector in the passenger seat. We never went on a highway, just drove around some more or less residential streets--I had to turn and get into the correct lane, stop at a stop sign, stop at a traffic light, and make both a left and right turn. I mentioned upthread that I had to make my driving instructor teach me parallel parking--I was asked to parallel park, but it was behind a car that had tons of empty space behind it, so it was easy. I also had to back into a parking spot when we got back to the DMV. That was about it.

I found out later that the inspectors don't normally ask for parallel parking, but I had drawn the toughest inspector they had, and apparently he was looking for something to downgrade me a little on. (Which he couldn't. Apparently, I was the only 100% score he'd given in years, according to the person who took the photo for my license.)
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: wolfie on February 21, 2014, 03:56:08 PM
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.

Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.

Backing in isn't an inherited skill any more than driving is.  It takes practice.  Even the best drivers probably took a few tries to master the skill.  Just like the first few times driving they probably didn't drive well.  It's OK to feel annoyance that a person is taking longer than average to do something.  It doesn't make them wrong to do it or make them rude.

Well, I don't know. I tend to think that if you can't do these things, how have you passed your test in the first place? (I'm aware that our driving test is more stringent, though). Apply that to any skill that a driver really ought to have.  It amazes me the number of people who drive about all day quite happily but also say

I needed to parallel park for my driving test and I could do it. But that was well over 20 years ago - I haven't needed to do it since so I am not comfortable doing it. I could if I really needed to but I like to avoid it.

I wonder how it is that you've never needed to do it. You have a driveway at home and don't have to park on the street? All the shops you go to have car parks and you don't need to park on a street? Etc? Interesting. May be an infrastructure thing.

Where I live I have to parallel park all the time because I'm usually parked on a street of some description, and it's been like that since I passed my test nearly 25 years ago. The only time I park in a car park with lined spaces is when I go to Sainsbury's or the like to do my weekly shop or if I use a multistorey car park in a town centre (which isn't often since I live in a big city.)

Yes - I own a house with a driveway and a garage so I don't need to parallel park there. At work the parking lot is big and I can usually pull through a space. For shopping and things like that the stores I visit have huge parking lots so I can find a spot that i can either pull through or just pull in head first (like at christmas time!). And then if I go someplace smaller where there is parallel parking either there is enough space that I don't need to go between two cars - like two or three spaces in a row free so i can just pull in, or if I just circle a little further there is a parking lot so I don't need to bother. I also drive a beetle which makes the pulling through a little easier! :-)
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: perpetua on February 21, 2014, 03:58:48 PM
Well, I don't know. I tend to think that if you can't do these things, how have you passed your test in the first place? (I'm aware that our driving test is more stringent, though). Apply that to any skill that a driver really ought to have.  It amazes me the number of people who drive about all day quite happily but also say things like 'I don't know how to merge' or 'I can't parallel park' or 'I can't pull away off a hill without rolling back so everyone needs to give me space'. How do some of these people have licences? It puzzles me.

When I took my drivers' test, I had to reverse down a short stretch of straight road and parallel park. Backing into a parking-lot style space was not involved.

As for rolling back on a hill, I assume that was in a manual transmission car? In the USA, the default for cars is automatic transmission, so a lot of people learned to drive and took their tests in automatics. The drivers' license doesn't distinguish between them. So, for example, I learned to drive and took my test in my mom's automatic. I learned to drive a manual several years later. I drove one pretty regularly for a couple of years, but I was in a pretty flat area that didn't give me a great deal of practice starting on steep grades. I don't think I roll back substantially, but I'm still nervous if I have to pull away on a hill in a manual and someone is right on my bumper.


Yeah, and I think it was that very situation too; people who'd learned in an auto, then switched to manual, and couldn't get the hang of pulling away uphill without rolling back.

Here, the default is to learn in a manual. You can learn in an auto, but then you only have an automatic licence and can't legally drive a manual without taking a manual test. The hill start is also part of our driving test.

Slight hijack, sorry!

Perpetua, I'm not sure where you live, but I'm guessing it's not the US. My cousin lived in England for several years and eventually got a driver's license there--she said it was way harder than getting a license in the States.

My driver's test consisted of answering 15 questions about things like right of way and where to stop behind a stopped school bus, and 15 minutes on the road with an inspector in the passenger seat. We never went on a highway, just drove around some more or less residential streets--I had to turn and get into the correct lane, stop at a stop sign, stop at a traffic light, and make both a left and right turn. I mentioned upthread that I had to make my driving instructor teach me parallel parking--I was asked to parallel park, but it was behind a car that had tons of empty space behind it, so it was easy. I also had to back into a parking spot when we got back to the DMV. That was about it.

I found out later that the inspectors don't normally ask for parallel parking, but I had drawn the toughest inspector they had, and apparently he was looking for something to downgrade me a little on. (Which he couldn't. Apparently, I was the only 100% score he'd given in years, according to the person who took the photo for my license.)

Yep, I'm in the UK. I've had this conversation elsewhere on the forum with other folks, but my driving test (25 years ago) was much more stringent than any test I've heard about in the US and these days it's even harder because you have to pass a theory test with very little margin for error and a hazard perception test too.

Here's an interesting article I was reading on the subject earlier: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/02/uk-driving-law-versus-us

(it says 'law' in the link, but it isn't legal at all - it's a really interesting article by an American trying to pass a driving test in the UK. Highlights some interesting differences.)
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: miranova on February 21, 2014, 04:04:55 PM
I believe different states in the US have different rules for the driver's test as well. So it varies not only by country, but by state.  I took my driver's test in 1994 in the US and I did not have to parallel park or back into a space.  It wasn't part of the test, so I have never learned how to do it. 

I've been driving for 20 years and have never, and I mean never been in a situation where I HAD to parallel park OR back into a space.  Obviously this would not be the case if I lived in a large city, but I don't.  When I travel within larger cities, I use public transportation anyway.  There are a few places around here that have parallel parking but there is always other parking close by.  If you don't want to parallel park you may just have to look for another space a bit longer.  No one parks on the street at home because literally everyone has driveways.  Only guests have to park on the street when the driveway is full and even then no need to parallel park, you just park behind the last person.  The street is never full enough to require wedging between 2 cars.  All of this to say that I have almost ZERO practice parallel parking or backing into spaces.  So I just don't bother ever trying to back into spaces.  I don't think I would like it anyway, because I like to load my groceries with more room than the little space between cars.

My dh on the other hand, can back any vehicle into ANY space.  One time when he was towing our boat and backing it into our driveway I said "there should be a competition for this kind of thing" and he said "there is back home and I won it". Apparently where he grew up backing large cars attached to trailers into tight spots was a local sport.  Who knew.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 21, 2014, 04:10:53 PM
It can vary from city to town within a province, too.

Someone taking their road test in Toronto is going to face more challenging conditions with merging on and off highways or even just dealing with more traffic than someone in a small town where the test doesn't even go to the highway; it's just downtown.  And the biggest traffic issue is some bozo who stops in the middle of main street to talk to their friend on the sidewalk, making it a difficult decision for the person taking their driver's test.  Do you go out and around, into the oncoming lane, to pass them?  Do you lean on the horn to let them know they are being a doofus?  Do you just wait patiently behind them until the move, while the people coming up behind you start honking at you to go?

My cousin was from Toronto but the family had a cottage near my hometown.  He failed his driver's test the first time in TO, took it in the summer at the cottage and passed.

And the situation above was me; I chose option 3 - I failed that time.  The tester said that situation didn't count against me but it rattled me enough that I missed a shift a little later and that's why I failed.  I was pretty ticked.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: perpetua on February 21, 2014, 04:12:55 PM
I believe different states in the US have different rules for the driver's test as well. So it varies not only by country, but by state.  I took my driver's test in 1994 in the US and I did not have to parallel park or back into a space.  It wasn't part of the test, so I have never learned how to do it. 

I've been driving for 20 years and have never, and I mean never been in a situation where I HAD to parallel park OR back into a space.  Obviously this would not be the case if I lived in a large city, but I don't.  When I travel within larger cities, I use public transportation anyway.  There are a few places around here that have parallel parking but there is always other parking close by.  If you don't want to parallel park you may just have to look for another space a bit longer.  No one parks on the street at home because literally everyone has driveways.  Only guests have to park on the street when the driveway is full and even then no need to parallel park, you just park behind the last person.  The street is never full enough to require wedging between 2 cars.  All of this to say that I have almost ZERO practice parallel parking or backing into spaces.  So I just don't bother ever trying to back into spaces.  I don't think I would like it anyway, because I like to load my groceries with more room than the little space between cars.

My dh on the other hand, can back any vehicle into ANY space.  One time when he was towing our boat and backing it into our driveway I said "there should be a competition for this kind of thing" and he said "there is back home and I won it". Apparently where he grew up backing large cars attached to trailers into tight spots was a local sport.  Who knew.

See, that's really interesting! I wondered about the driveway thing. That all makes perfect sense. I think the infrastructure is just set up so differently.

I didn't have to back into a space as part of my test, but we did have to reverse around a corner and line up next to the kerb at the end of the manoeuvre, which is essentially the same skillset: aiming at a line. I can't remember if I had to parallel park or not - that may have come in after I passed, but I quickly learned to do it because I had to. I can reverse parallel park into a tight space (maybe two feet longer than the car at each end?) in one smooth move without having to shuffle back and forth (in a manual car too), but then I've been doing it for donkey's years. Sometimes I have to straighten up a bit, but I'm usually in first time. Where I live parking is at a premium, even street parking, so you either get used to it or you don't park!
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: lollylegs on February 21, 2014, 05:06:55 PM
Backing in as a concept isn't the problem. The problem is when people who clearly don't have the skills to do it try to do it.

Backing in shouldn't take any longer than pulling in forwards - if you know what you're doing. There's no need to constantly pull out and straighten up if you get it right the first time and do it in one smooth movement.

And of course, those people who aren't competent at backing into a space probably aren't going to be any better at backing out of it either. So, one way or the other, they're going to hold someone up. Either they back in and hold someone up and drive out quickly, or they drive in quickly then hold someone up later when they're backing out.

So, no. The backing up isn't the issue, or what holds people up. What holds people up is inadequate driving skills.

Backing in isn't an inherited skill any more than driving is.  It takes practice.  Even the best drivers probably took a few tries to master the skill.  Just like the first few times driving they probably didn't drive well.  It's OK to feel annoyance that a person is taking longer than average to do something.  It doesn't make them wrong to do it or make them rude.

When I got pregnant I traded my two door coupe for a five seater ute (what you Americans call a pick up truck) and had to teach myself how to park all over again. During my initial learning period, I would deliberately drive to the back of the car park so that I wouldn't hold people up with my five minutes of pulling in and backing up. It's easily done.

Yes life is full of inconveniences but in a car park or similar situation, taking too long can cause a serious and dangerous traffic jam. So I agree - backing in isn't rude, unless you don't have the skill to do it quickly.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Psychopoesie on February 21, 2014, 07:18:19 PM
Those who think that pulling in forward is easeir and quicker then backing in must be living in places where the lanes and parking spots are pretty wide.
Apart from the added safety, as explained by others, you keep your manouivrability when backing into a spot, making parking in a tight spot easier. I regularly park in places where pulling in forward is not possible or difficult, but backing in is a quick and easy manoeuvre.

As an example of what I mean, when the space you parki in is just wide enough to get out of your car, then you have to be almost completely lined up with the spot before your front wheels go between the cars to your side. When backing into  a spot, you can still manoeuver a lot with yopur front when you are between the cars, meaning that you have to be less lined up when getting between the other cars. Due to this, you can then park with smaller lanes as well.

I do think we have often have smaller spots here then in the US, but most people back into a spot anyway, regardless of how much space they have.

As for the pulling in and back, this happens both with people backing in and with people pulling in forward. A good reason why people backing in may do it a bit more is also that, due to above mentioned reasons, it is actualy easier to cerrect their position with a quick out and in, then for the person pulling forward, and it is also safer to do this for them.

I would like to point out, that I think that in daily live I see more people backing in then pulling forward here (anecdotal, but I just stepped out and there are at the moment 15 cars parked in my street, 4 forward and 11 back.) Apart from the more often tight spaces, another major difference with countries where many people posting here come from is that over here only professionals are allowed to teach people to drive, and they will teahc you to park (both perpendicular and paralel) by backing into a space.

It's funny but I'm even less likely to back into a small tight space. (From Oz, not the US.)

The only time I do so is when I need to reverse parallel park and that's maybe a few times a year. It's harder to pull in frontend first to those sort of spots, although I can if there's a fair bit if space.

Most people in shopping centre carparks in my city park front in. Where my cousin lives in a country town in a neighbouring state, most of the main street has angle parking that is rear only by law. I've noticed people there tend to park the same way even in places like the shopping centre carpark where it's not required.

So maybe it's familiarity that makes a style easier.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MariaE on February 22, 2014, 01:48:18 AM
I was a pro at parallel parking when I took my license - in New Zealand. Then I moved back to Denmark and had to flip the entire thing around as we drive on the other side of the road.

Add that to the fact that we live in a city where the public transportation system is well developed, so I have never owned a car, I'd probably say that it's been about 10 years since I last attempted to parallel park. When we borrow a car I'll go for the parking places that don't require me to parallel park, and it's never been an issue.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Wench on February 22, 2014, 03:40:17 AM
I'm someone who is limited to an automatic license. I even passed my theory twice because the first one lapsed after two years. I even had to parallel park on my test but still really struggle with it and I only have on street parking! Luckily I have access to a car park in a pinch.

I always reverse park as feel it is safer than reversing out but I always indicate. Generally I do I park correctly first time and still park the way I was taught to by my driving instructor. I always wait for other people to park as well.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: gen xer on February 22, 2014, 09:26:07 AM
It can vary from city to town within a province, too.

Someone taking their road test in Toronto is going to face more challenging conditions with merging on and off highways or even just dealing with more traffic than someone in a small town where the test doesn't even go to the highway; it's just downtown.  And the biggest traffic issue is some bozo who stops in the middle of main street to talk to their friend on the sidewalk, making it a difficult decision for the person taking their driver's test.  Do you go out and around, into the oncoming lane, to pass them?  Do you lean on the horn to let them know they are being a doofus?  Do you just wait patiently behind them until the move, while the people coming up behind you start honking at you to go?

My cousin was from Toronto but the family had a cottage near my hometown.  He failed his driver's test the first time in TO, took it in the summer at the cottage and passed.

And the situation above was me; I chose option 3 - I failed that time.  The tester said that situation didn't count against me but it rattled me enough that I missed a shift a little later and that's why I failed.  I was pretty ticked.

My DH is from Toronto and likes to tease me that I had it so easy since I got to take my drivers test in the country ( we live in a smaller city north of Toronto now but I was originally a farm girl )  He also thinks I have much less patience than city drivers since he says country people aren't as used to the traffic!
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: TootsNYC on February 22, 2014, 09:29:50 AM


My DH is from Toronto and likes to tease me that I had it so easy since I got to take my drivers test in the country ( we live in a smaller city north of Toronto now but I was originally a farm girl )  He also thinks I have much less patience than city drivers since he says country people aren't as used to the traffic!

I think this is true! I flew from NYC to Des Moines once, and my mom picked me up at the airport. We were driving out of the parking lot and there were 2 cars at the payment booth at the exit. As the first of them was driving away (so now only 1 person in front of us), my mom said, "Goodness, look at this traffic!"
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: VorFemme on February 22, 2014, 10:20:31 AM
It might be safer to pull out of a parking space going forward than in reverse - but what about when you pulled through to park in a spot that now has you going the wrong way down a one way aisle of the parking lot? 

Unless the spaces are angled in some way, I don't understand how you could end up going the wrong way, unless you really aren't paying attention to the traffic around you. If all the cars are going to your left, wouldn't you just drive out of the space and go to the left?

Depending on the size of the parking lot, various stores may try to maximize the number of spaces by using one way lanes and slanting all the spaces to get a few more vehicles in a smaller lot.

Not all drivers are thinking about "if the parking space opens away from me - I must be going the wrong way down this lane" - they are more likely thinking "you never can find an empty parking space when you need one"!

And the person coming down the lane toward them is hoping to get to an empty space fast so that they can get out of the way instead of being hit head on by someone who is driving the wrong way and (more often than not) talking on a cell phone while craning their neck looking for an empty slot in the next aisle, since they don't plan to back into a slot in the one way aisle.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: gen xer on February 22, 2014, 10:31:51 AM


My DH is from Toronto and likes to tease me that I had it so easy since I got to take my drivers test in the country ( we live in a smaller city north of Toronto now but I was originally a farm girl )  He also thinks I have much less patience than city drivers since he says country people aren't as used to the traffic!

I think this is true! I flew from NYC to Des Moines once, and my mom picked me up at the airport. We were driving out of the parking lot and there were 2 cars at the payment booth at the exit. As the first of them was driving away (so now only 1 person in front of us), my mom said, "Goodness, look at this traffic!"

I can't even deny it  :)
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: MrTango on February 22, 2014, 12:46:12 PM
I'm someone who is limited to an automatic license. I even passed my theory twice because the first one lapsed after two years. I even had to parallel park on my test but still really struggle with it and I only have on street parking! Luckily I have access to a car park in a pinch.

I always reverse park as feel it is safer than reversing out but I always indicate. Generally I do I park correctly first time and still park the way I was taught to by my driving instructor. I always wait for other people to park as well.

Does this mean your license only allows you to drive vehicles with an automatic transmission (as opposed to a stick shift?) or something else?  It's a term I've never heard before.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: marcel on February 22, 2014, 12:58:29 PM
I'm someone who is limited to an automatic license. I even passed my theory twice because the first one lapsed after two years. I even had to parallel park on my test but still really struggle with it and I only have on street parking! Luckily I have access to a car park in a pinch.

I always reverse park as feel it is safer than reversing out but I always indicate. Generally I do I park correctly first time and still park the way I was taught to by my driving instructor. I always wait for other people to park as well.

Does this mean your license only allows you to drive vehicles with an automatic transmission (as opposed to a stick shift?) or something else?  It's a term I've never heard before.
It probably does. I don't know where woman is from, but in The netherlands if you do your exam in an automatic, you are only allowed to drive automatic.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: perpetua on February 22, 2014, 01:26:33 PM
I'm someone who is limited to an automatic license. I even passed my theory twice because the first one lapsed after two years. I even had to parallel park on my test but still really struggle with it and I only have on street parking! Luckily I have access to a car park in a pinch.

I always reverse park as feel it is safer than reversing out but I always indicate. Generally I do I park correctly first time and still park the way I was taught to by my driving instructor. I always wait for other people to park as well.

Does this mean your license only allows you to drive vehicles with an automatic transmission (as opposed to a stick shift?) or something else?  It's a term I've never heard before.
It probably does. I don't know where woman is from, but in The netherlands if you do your exam in an automatic, you are only allowed to drive automatic.

Same here, so if woman is in the UK then yes, that is what it means.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Wench on February 22, 2014, 05:50:31 PM
Yes I am from the UK. I think I need to change my name as the filter does not like my screen name. It should be W*nch with an e.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: HoneyBee42 on February 22, 2014, 06:43:25 PM
I also work in a hospital, and my preferred parking spot is where I can pull through (so as to pull forward to leave when it's time to go home, as well).  I have a lot more control over my arrival time (vs my start of the work day) so that I can arrive with plenty of time to get parked (especially considering I clock in at my desk, which is on the fifth floor, and it's always a gamble as to whether the elevator will go straight up or if I end up stopping at every floor).  It's a lot safer to pull out forward from a parking spot, especially since it seems that everyone is leaving at the same time (and a whole lot more anxious to go home, driving like the proverbial bat-outta-hotspot.  Not signaling intent when parking, though, is pretty rude.

I'm more reminded of what happened one morning--to come in, you drive on this road, stop at a stop sign and turn left.  On the immediate right after that left turn is a double row of parking spots (thus, you can pull through if you are in time to get the first row) then a driving lane, and then several rows that are perpendicular to that first row.  Now that first double row is my preferred parking area.  It's actually fairly far from the entrance, but I can pretty much *always* get a spot there, which means that I don't have to think about where I parked when I am headed home (I have walked out with several co-workers who, on various occasions cannot remember where they parked because they don't have a particular spot that they ordinarily park in).  One day, I followed another car in, and they turned almost immediately into the double row, I was headed for the other end of the double row when, all of a sudden, without signalling, that car had continued in through the perpendicular area to drive around one of the concrete "planter" ends (it is raised concrete, there's some ground in there with a rather anemic looking tree planted) to come back to the double row that I was about to park in (pulling back through the other way).  I had to do some sharp maneuvering myself to avoid a collision.  Fortunately, no one was immediately behind me.

Situational awareness is a good thing.  Communicating your intentions (via turn signals) is a very good thing. 

Whether someone pulls in and through, backs in (rim of the lot spots, in particular) or pulls in and needs to back out of the spot--well, the backing out tends to be not so safe just because you have impaired ability to see around other vehicles until you're well into the driving lane, but otherwise it's pretty much a matter of indifference to everyone.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Margo on February 23, 2014, 03:52:35 PM
The article about UK vs. US driving tests was very interesting. 

My sister lived in the US (In N. Carolina) for a couple of years - after a while (6 months? 12 months?) she was supposed to stop using her UK licence, so she took some lessons locally to get a NC Licence. She was shocked at how easy the test was compared to what she was expecting (and by the fact she was actually told off by her instructor for checking her mirrors before reversing!)

I only passed my test on the 3rd attempt.

Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: marcel on February 23, 2014, 04:46:50 PM
The article about UK vs. US driving tests was very interesting. 

My sister lived in the US (In N. Carolina) for a couple of years - after a while (6 months? 12 months?) she was supposed to stop using her UK licence, so she took some lessons locally to get a NC Licence. She was shocked at how easy the test was compared to what she was expecting (and by the fact she was actually told off by her instructor for checking her mirrors before reversing!)

I only passed my test on the 3rd attempt.
We have a very hard driving test in the netherlands, a lot of people fail the first time they take it. There is one sure way to fail it though and that is not checking your mirrors before doing anything.

(Do you know what the instructor thought was wrong with checking mirrors?)
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: drzim on February 23, 2014, 10:05:11 PM
I think reversing into a spot is fine as long as you know how to do it. One lady who works in my building always reverses into a spot but is really bad at it (even after years of practice) It takes hers ages of driving backwards and forwards to get in. Meanwhile a line of cars is building up behind her, up the entrance ramp to the boom gate, along the road....

I never reverse in partly because I know I'm bad at it and don't want to hold people up and partly because if i reverse in and there is another row of cars behind I can't get the pram out. I only know of one place where you have to reverse into spots and I avoid it.
to
Agree with this.  It's not rude if you can do it quickly and efficiently.  If it's going to take you several back-and-forths to do it, all the while cars are lining up behind you, you should pull forward out of the way and let everyone pass before trying again.  I do this all the time with parallel parking--I'll pull forward with my signal on, but I always wait until there's nobody behind me before attempting to park.  Sometimes I get on the first try, but other times it takes longer and I don't want to be rude and hold people up.

In general, I think it's rude to make people behind you to wait unnecessarily.  Example: it's fine to have a large cart full of groceries at the grocery store.  What is rude is engaging the clerk in unnecessary conversation, trying to decide whether you want an item or not, trying to find a coupon, etc. when there's many people waiting behind you.

Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Arila on February 24, 2014, 12:20:25 AM


My DH is from Toronto and likes to tease me that I had it so easy since I got to take my drivers test in the country ( we live in a smaller city north of Toronto now but I was originally a farm girl )  He also thinks I have much less patience than city drivers since he says country people aren't as used to the traffic!

I think this is true! I flew from NYC to Des Moines once, and my mom picked me up at the airport. We were driving out of the parking lot and there were 2 cars at the payment booth at the exit. As the first of them was driving away (so now only 1 person in front of us), my mom said, "Goodness, look at this traffic!"

I'm not a country girl by any means, but my 3 mile commute has surely spoiled me forevermore.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: TurtleDove on February 24, 2014, 01:52:10 AM
Re checking mirrors when reversing - the only thing that makes any sense is if maybe she ONLY checked mirrors and didn't turn her head over her shoulder to look behind her? Because checking mirrors at any time isn't ever wrong as far as I know.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Margo on February 24, 2014, 02:44:53 AM
No, she'd done both.  (Looking over her shoulder and checking the mirror)
She couldn't understand why he thought it as a problem.He didn't explain.

It may have been that that particular instructor had a bee in his bonnet about it for some reason.

As far as I recall, it didn't arise in the test itself (maybe no reversing?)
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: jaxsue on February 24, 2014, 08:34:36 AM
The article about UK vs. US driving tests was very interesting. 

My sister lived in the US (In N. Carolina) for a couple of years - after a while (6 months? 12 months?) she was supposed to stop using her UK licence, so she took some lessons locally to get a NC Licence. She was shocked at how easy the test was compared to what she was expecting (and by the fact she was actually told off by her instructor for checking her mirrors before reversing!)

I only passed my test on the 3rd attempt.
We have a very hard driving test in the netherlands, a lot of people fail the first time they take it. There is one sure way to fail it though and that is not checking your mirrors before doing anything.

(Do you know what the instructor thought was wrong with checking mirrors?)

Per the bolded: Honestly, judging by how people drive where I live, I think they hand out licenses no matter how badly people do on the tests!  :P
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Outdoor Girl on February 24, 2014, 08:40:30 AM
Any of you old enough to remember the original Muppet Movie?

Fozie is driving, with Kermit, in a De Soto, gets told to turn left at the the fork in the road - and shows a giant fork, stuck in the road.  At one point, Fozie's driving is particularly bad and Kermit asks him, 'Where did you learn to drive?'

Fozie replies, 'I took a correspondance course.'

So that's what I ask all the bad drivers out there when I'm ranting and raving inside the safe, relatively soundproof confines of my own vehicle.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: jaxsue on February 24, 2014, 08:50:29 AM
Any of you old enough to remember the original Muppet Movie?

Fozie is driving, with Kermit, in a De Soto, gets told to turn left at the the fork in the road - and shows a giant fork, stuck in the road.  At one point, Fozie's driving is particularly bad and Kermit asks him, 'Where did you learn to drive?'

Fozie replies, 'I took a correspondance course.'

So that's what I ask all the bad drivers out there when I'm ranting and raving inside the safe, relatively soundproof confines of my own vehicle.

Per the bolded: I am, and I still have the soundtrack on LP (kids, look up "LP"). Great analogy!
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: KarenK on February 24, 2014, 09:33:04 AM
I don't back up into parking spaces. I am a horrible backer-upper. It is easier to pull out from a space than back up out of it, though, so I wish I was better at it.

I'm not horrible at parallel parking, but like most US drivers, I have very little need to and it is easily avoided.

The parking garage at work is designed with slanted spaces and one way traffic, so backing into a space is not done. Sometimes people do at the end of the rows, though.

My DH is a fanatical pull-througher. I never know where the car will be when I come out of the store.

The first I had heard about the separate automatic and manual drivers' licenses in the UK was on Top Gear. They had to round up an automatic "Reasonably Priced Car" because the guest only had an automatic license. He had a terrible lap time. LOL!
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Betelnut on February 24, 2014, 10:25:38 AM
"Pulling through" can also be slightly risky.  I've almost had accidents because I was pulling through and someone pulled in to the same spot!  No collisions but it would have been my fault if it happened.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Polly on February 24, 2014, 05:54:01 PM
I saw this thread over the weekend and wanted to respond as this is something I have a real thing about - but I was only online on my phone over the weekend so only getting back to this now!

I have always felt that backing into a space is more difficult, as one has a narrower area to fit into, whereas backing out, in theory, you have a much wider area to reverse into. That's not of course to say you should not observe what's around, or that you have carte blanche to take up all the available space, but the bottom line is I find it a lot easier and quicker to back OUT than I do to back IN. It's the way my head works, but I would never condone backing out without making full observations.

This was then discussed on Top Gear, and I was alarmed to discover they felt the opposite. While there's a lot in that show people might not agree with of course, they are all 'professional' drivers, so I attached some credibility to what they said on this issue, and their take on it WAS down to the issue of it being more likely that observation is harder if reversing out due to the range of possible directions of traffic and people approaching which could be out of your line of sight, whereas reversing in, really the only concern (barring freak accidents) is avoiding the other cars.

However, I do still see a lot of people taking a LONG time to reverse in, and it does irritate me, I admit. I drive in, and when I reverse out, I do so smoothly and quickly (and with suitable observations to be safe).

Oddly enough, while pulling through is not to my knowledge illegal here in Ireland (where I live) or the UK (where I learned to drive), it has always felt a little bit rude to me. I'm just not sure why!!
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: jaxsue on February 25, 2014, 09:51:24 AM
"Pulling through" can also be slightly risky.  I've almost had accidents because I was pulling through and someone pulled in to the same spot!  No collisions but it would have been my fault if it happened.

I am very careful for that reason. I tend to park in the back 40, anyway (more exercise), and most drivers hunt for close spaces.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: camlan on February 25, 2014, 10:09:47 AM
I saw this thread over the weekend and wanted to respond as this is something I have a real thing about - but I was only online on my phone over the weekend so only getting back to this now!

I have always felt that backing into a space is more difficult, as one has a narrower area to fit into, whereas backing out, in theory, you have a much wider area to reverse into. That's not of course to say you should not observe what's around, or that you have carte blanche to take up all the available space, but the bottom line is I find it a lot easier and quicker to back OUT than I do to back IN. It's the way my head works, but I would never condone backing out without making full observations.

This was then discussed on Top Gear, and I was alarmed to discover they felt the opposite. While there's a lot in that show people might not agree with of course, they are all 'professional' drivers, so I attached some credibility to what they said on this issue, and their take on it WAS down to the issue of it being more likely that observation is harder if reversing out due to the range of possible directions of traffic and people approaching which could be out of your line of sight, whereas reversing in, really the only concern (barring freak accidents) is avoiding the other cars.

However, I do still see a lot of people taking a LONG time to reverse in, and it does irritate me, I admit. I drive in, and when I reverse out, I do so smoothly and quickly (and with suitable observations to be safe).

Oddly enough, while pulling through is not to my knowledge illegal here in Ireland (where I live) or the UK (where I learned to drive), it has always felt a little bit rude to me. I'm just not sure why!!

You know, I agree with you that it is easier, in terms of driving skills, to back out. When you are backing in, there are usually cars on either side of your car, and one behind it. You need to be very careful not to hit any of those cars, and you need to precisely place your car so that there is room for the doors to open without hitting the other cars. As a result, I'd expect backing in to take a few seconds longer than pulling in, especially when you add in the couple of seconds that it takes to pull past the space to prepare to back in.

But I completely agree with the Top Gear guys about what you have to observe when backing out--you have the entire aisle on both sides, people moving about, cars moving, all through the limited view that the back and side windows of your vehicle give you. It's a lot more than three stationary cars. And if  you have a small car and there are much larger vehicles on either side of you, backing out is scary until you have moved out enough to see what's coming--and by that time, you have backed out enough to be hit by a car you didn't see.

That's why I consider backing in to be safer. Sure, there's a chance a small child might be running between the parked cars, but it is tiny. It is much more likely that a small child will be running down the aisle, followed by a frantic parent.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: SPuck on February 26, 2014, 11:14:40 PM
I don't think backing is rude, but I think slow parking is rude if the driver takes time in a sport where no one can get around you, and if the parker puts other drivers in a dangerous situation by causing a potential back up.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: kareng57 on February 26, 2014, 11:50:12 PM
Any of you old enough to remember the original Muppet Movie?

Fozie is driving, with Kermit, in a De Soto, gets told to turn left at the the fork in the road - and shows a giant fork, stuck in the road.  At one point, Fozie's driving is particularly bad and Kermit asks him, 'Where did you learn to drive?'

Fozie replies, 'I took a correspondance course.'

So that's what I ask all the bad drivers out there when I'm ranting and raving inside the safe, relatively soundproof confines of my own vehicle.


I used to work for a telephone-directory company and of course driving-schools were one of the largest category-advertisers.

One company specified the large number of translator-instructors that they employed.  Great, this is a pretty cosmopolitan city - it was fine that they mentioned languages such as French/German/Italian/Spanish/Farsi/Tagalog etc.

But another language mentioned was Braille.  I wasn't in the Sales or ad-proofing department but could never figure out that one...

Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: perpetua on February 27, 2014, 04:18:59 AM
OK, so yesterday I was in a multistorey car park, first time in a while, so I had a chance to observe the behaviour of the parkers and here, in the interests of some very non-scientific EHell research, is what I discovered.

1. Absolutely everyone I was behind while they were parking reverse parked; nobody in front of me pulled forwards into a space. But with the limited aisle space found in multistoreys it's far easier to back in than swing in forwards so that's understandable. Most of the cars that were already parked were in backwards.

2. Invariably nobody signalled their intention to park. So, they drove past the space (in order to be able to back in) then stopped. By this time I was too close behind them to give them space so I had to back up. This is the rude part, I think. If they'd signalled while near to the space, I would have realised they were going to back into it. One person started to back up before I'd reversed out of her way; she didn't even look before she started backing up. They also mostly didn't put themselves at the correct angle to reverse while passing the space and stopping; they drove past it and stopped at right angles to the space instead of turning outwards with the front end away from the space. Is this perhaps why people are unable to get the car into the space first time?

3. One lady in a big 4WD vehicle - I didn't pay any attention to what type - had trouble backing into the space because a) the vehicle was big and the space to turn in was small b) she was having trouble seeing properly over the seats while reversing because she was short, so this took extra time. She was in and out a few times.

4. One person took so long trying to do it that I ended up driving around her when she was backed far enough in (at least the third time of trying!) to leave enough space for me to do so. I was able to do that faster than she was manoeuvring the car in and out, so that gives an indication of how slow she was at it.

5. When I came back to my car after shopping, someone had a reversed into the space next to me and not been able to get it in straight, because they left it at an angle to the lines and made it awkward for me to open the door. Luckily they came back at the same time as me, so I just waited for her to leave so I could get in.


So, the most annoying things were a) people not signalling that they were going to take a space and b) not doing it properly/not having the skill to do it in a reasonable amount of time. Also, sheer obliviousness to the fact that other people were using the car park too :)
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: Elfmama on February 27, 2014, 01:00:27 PM
3. One lady in a big 4WD vehicle - I didn't pay any attention to what type - had trouble backing into the space because a) the vehicle was big and the space to turn in was small b) she was having trouble seeing properly over the seats while reversing because she was short, so this took extra time. She was in and out a few times.
And this is exactly why I never back into a space.  Even with the car's seat raised up as high as it will go, I can't see anything but sky when I turn and look out through the back window.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: TootsNYC on February 27, 2014, 02:51:57 PM


4. One person took so long trying to do it that I ended up driving around her when she was backed far enough in (at least the third time of trying!) to leave enough space for me to do so. I was able to do that faster than she was manoeuvring the car in and out, so that gives an indication of how slow she was at it.

You may well have been there just as long while she tried to maneuver into the space.

Quote
So, the most annoying things were a) people not signalling that they were going to take a space and b) not doing it properly/not having the skill to do it in a reasonable amount of time. Also, sheer obliviousness to the fact that other people were using the car park too :)

And this happens w/ front-in parkers as well.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: perpetua on February 27, 2014, 04:58:20 PM


4. One person took so long trying to do it that I ended up driving around her when she was backed far enough in (at least the third time of trying!) to leave enough space for me to do so. I was able to do that faster than she was manoeuvring the car in and out, so that gives an indication of how slow she was at it.

You may well have been there just as long while she tried to maneuver into the space.


Exactly. That's why I drove round her; she was taking so long I didn't want to wait any more for her - I'm not seeing your point?
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: TootsNYC on February 27, 2014, 05:10:14 PM
That the annoying behavior isn't restricted to backing in--which is what this thread is about.
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: perpetua on February 27, 2014, 05:13:32 PM
I never said it was. I said that backing in was annoying (and potentially rude) when people took too much time to do it because they don't know how to do it properly, which this lady obviously didn't.

Oh wait. You mean I may have been waiting just as long if she was manoeuvring into the space *forwards*? Quite possibly. Still, she backed in, and she couldn't do it properly so - is that rude and inconsiderate?
Title: Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
Post by: TootsNYC on February 27, 2014, 05:14:06 PM
I don't think so.

People are allowed to live, and to be inconvenient to other people.