Author Topic: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces  (Read 10150 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

perpetua

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2212
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #90 on: February 21, 2014, 04:24:21 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!

camlan

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8726
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #91 on: February 21, 2014, 04:53:29 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.)
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


wolfie

  • I don't know what this is so I am putting random words here
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7284
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #92 on: February 21, 2014, 04:56:08 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! :-)

perpetua

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2212
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #93 on: February 21, 2014, 04:58:48 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.)

miranova

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2331
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #94 on: February 21, 2014, 05:04:55 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.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 05:06:49 PM by miranova »

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 14249
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #95 on: February 21, 2014, 05:10:53 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.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

perpetua

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2212
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #96 on: February 21, 2014, 05:12:55 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!

lollylegs

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 610
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #97 on: February 21, 2014, 06:06:55 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.

Psychopoesie

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 959
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #98 on: February 21, 2014, 08:18:19 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.

MariaE

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4717
  • So many books, so little time
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #99 on: February 22, 2014, 02:48:18 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.
 
Dane by birth, Kiwi by choice

Wench

  • Jr. Member
  • *
  • Posts: 79
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #100 on: February 22, 2014, 04:40:17 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.

gen xer

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 556
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #101 on: February 22, 2014, 10:26:07 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!

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 31425
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #102 on: February 22, 2014, 10:29:50 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!"

VorFemme

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 13155
  • Strolls with scissors! Too tired to run today!
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #103 on: February 22, 2014, 11:20:31 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.
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

gen xer

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 556
Re: Parking Lot Etiquette - Backing into spaces
« Reply #104 on: February 22, 2014, 11:31:51 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  :)