why do they reverse to park?
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  1. #1
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    Default why do they reverse to park?

    A parking habit that seems to have crept up to plague proportions over the last few years is the instance of people insisting on reversing into car park spaces. It doesn't seem to follow any clear pattern of eg new licence holders , but does seem to afflict owners of larger SUV/4WD/silver/shiny new ones more than cars.

    In doing so, they hold up the progress of other parkers, especially in multistorey car parks

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    Can anyone suggest a reason, apart from annoying others?

  2. #2
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Sure I can suggest a reason(s).

    It makes sense to reverse into a spot for a number of reasons.

    The first and primary one is you have been driving for a while and are in 'driving mode' so you will be most awear of your vehicle in this mode.

    The second reason is you force the cars behind you to stop and let you do your reverse, as noted, Barry.
    Whats the bet you dont offer the same degree of rights to the same vehicle when they are trying to reverse out of a spot.

    In some vehicles, especially 4x4 it is near impossible to get into the spot frontwards.
    The long wheel base pajero I drive is such a beast.
    You have no choice except to bypass those shops and park somewhere with a wider lane spacing.

    Jo

  3. #3
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    Perhaps people are using their proximity beepers or their rear view camera to park with?
    Those people that say I know - generally don't.

  4. #4
    Real cars have hydraulics DoubleChevron's Avatar
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    I reverse park a LOT. The simple fact is carparks these days are so pathetically tiny, my cars fill the parks end to end (and then some). Try for example parking a DS in Coles or Big W carparks. FWD vehicles don't have really good steering lock like RWD's.... and then there is the 124" wheelbase. I'm always amazed when I see someone park a commonbore ... You watch thinking "not in a million years will they park that there"............ They haul on full lock and pull straight in ... I couldn't do that in a million years.

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  5. #5
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    Icon4 Pros and Cons when parking!

    A car thief once told me that when he was knocking off holdens for a living and earned his 200 club membership for stealing commodores, one of his criteria for choosing which Commodore to steal was the car parked facing outwards coz this gave him a quick getaway.

    After that I always parked my car facing IN!

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  6. #6
    JBN
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    Roughly all of the above. The reasons why I reverse park:
    • My first car, a VW Beetle taught me that when I do a high speed park and slide the car sideways into a spot, there is a good chance that when I reverse out of the space, there will be a hidden post which will dent the rear bumper.
    • I now reverse park at the Shell garage at Albury (used to be on the highway on the Sydney side), because I once parked my 2CV there. When I reversed, I didn't see the post, which dented the bumper. The post was painted white. The walls of the service station immediately behind were also painted white. The scratches and different coloured paints on the post suggested that I wasn't Robinson Carusoe. Actually I don't go there any more because I think the owner is an uncaring idiot.
    • If you reverse into a space, you are less likely to be surprised by objects that you noticed on the way in, but have forgotten about on the way out. This is even more important if you drove to the pub and had difficulty in finding the car afterwards.
    • When maneouvring a car into a tight spot, reverse parking is easier, as the rear wheels are the fulcrum and the front wheels do most of the lateral movement. This does mean that apart from looking to the rear (the direction in which the car is going) one must also be aware that the front is swinging wildly and could hit its front fenders on objects either side.
    • I have front and rear sensors and rely on them a lot. The front are very effective on a hydraulic Citroen so that one doesn't park over kerbs on which the car may settle over time, catching the front bumper. Its also a good reason to reverse in.
    • However the main reason is - I am an old fart and I drive a Citroen. Most other drivers hate Citroens and hate old farts. I don't want to disappoint them.
    John

  7. #7
    UFO
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    Regardless of whether you park nose in or out, at some point you have to reverse. IMHO it is far safer to have other people stop and let you reverse in and then on the way out you can make eye contact with other drivers and if they are searching for a spot they will likely let you out.

    Then again if I am in a hurry or it is crazy time at the shopping centre I will park nose in at the first spot I see, rather than be the fool who must park at the mall entry.
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  8. #8
    1000+ Posts jo proffi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UFO View Post
    Then again if I am in a hurry or it is crazy time at the shopping centre I will park nose in at the first spot I see...
    Yes, there is an obligitory time a person must reverse and park before I get inpatient and take their spot.

    Jo

  9. #9
    Thank God for my Hydroen harrisson_citroen's Avatar
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    I like to reverse park for the simple reason when you leave you can look straight out and drive off in a second at the first gap in the queue. Otherwise you have to reverse half the car before you can see anything out. Most carparks and parkings being populated by @***holes nowadays (including me) it can be 5 minutes before you can reverse out; unless of course the "I want your car space Camry with subject blinker on " is heading your way. It then stops 20m away from you and stops the whole queue to allow you to get out , whilst the driver looks at you with a fake smile and nodding of the head.
    Once you're out, and waving at the elderly NRMA sticker bearing driver, some other d!!!head steals his spot from him anyway.
    Yep that's why I reverse park.
    Last edited by harrisson_citroen; 8th December 2010 at 09:17 PM.
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    sans witticism SLC206's Avatar
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    Why do they reverse to leave (or is that back up)?

    I reverse park 100% of the time - for most of the reasons above.
    Last edited by SLC206; 9th December 2010 at 12:06 AM.
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    Default 4WD Problem solvered......

    Leave the 4x4's on the farm with the tractors and other farming implements where they belong. There is no place for these hunks of metal in the city, and especially not double parked out front of primary schools nose to tail all the way up the street so no one can see a damned thing. My local suburban primary school seems to have more big 4x4's than a country music muster, and not a farm can be found for miles.

    And don't even start me about the arrogance of their high and mighty drivers.......I'm calm!
    Last edited by 59 Floride; 9th December 2010 at 12:21 AM.

  12. #12
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    I would guess that about 90% of cars at my local carpark are large 4WDs, the smallest being BMW X5, but definitely no shortage of Landcruisers, Benz ML/GL models and other large devices.

    Anyway, I nearly always reverse park. It is safer, I get in quicker and with more precision. It is also easier to execute without planning, ie when you're in the middle of the aisle and suddenly a spot opens up.
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    Worked as a (valet) parking attendant at the Sydney Hilton when a uni student in the mid 70s. The house rule was always to reverse the car into its spot. Two reasons. One, it's easier when you know how to do it properly (which we all learned real fast). Two, it's much simpler and safer to drive out. Trust me, we parked and retrieved hundreds of cars each day (three abreast, four deep in a bay) and the only way to do it quickly and accurately was to reverse 'em in. Mind you, we worked as a team and when you pointed to your spot, your workmate waited for you to park. Not like the feral free for all in the average car park now.

  14. #14
    Fellow Frogger! rmac's Avatar
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    Simple reason to reverse park - safety! You have driven to the spot, you should be aware of what is around and are in a position to park. On departing the spot it is safer to drive forward rather than to reverse 'blind' - particularly if 4WDs or vans are obstructing your view.

    Reversing into traffic is inherently unsafe.
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    XTC
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBN View Post
    [*]When maneouvring a car into a tight spot, reverse parking is easier, as the rear wheels are the fulcrum and the front wheels do most of the lateral movement. This does mean that apart from looking to the rear (the direction in which the car is going) one must also be aware that the front is swinging wildly and could hit its front fenders on objects either side.
    Yep .. it's physics .. all about pivot points (the same reason a forklift or a hospital bed rear steers) - add in the 2 side mirrors as line of site guides (and those lucky enough to have rear parking sensors and/or camera), backing in is far easier IMHO.

  16. #16
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    I thought people did it so they were less likely to get "doored".

    If both cars on either side of you have gone in nose first and you reverse in a little to the passenger side then you have more room to get out without banging the car next to you and the driver of that car has more room to get in without hitting your car with his/her door.

    The car on your passenger side is closer to you but because most vehicle trips are single person journeys there is reduced chance of someone getting in and out but an increased chance of getting doored if they do. Of course if you park close enought then you force them to drive out to let their passengers in.

    Does that make sense?

    P

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    I worked for 20 years for a trash trucking outfit, we ALWAYS taught our drivers to back out of traffic rather than into it. when backing into a parking spot you are safer because you can see traffic behind and around you especially if you are an observant driver when you drive up as professional drivers are. When you back out of a spot usually your view is obstructed.

  18. #18
    1000+ Posts Renomad's Avatar
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    Yep, I always reverse into a spot when it is practicle to do so, for the reasons already mentioned.
    Early morning shopping is the best, you can drive forward into a spot and continue to the next spot in front of you and as a result you are facing forward in the next isle. The best of both worlds!
    When in multi level carparks I try to find spots next to the massive concrete posts and try and park as close as possible to these posts, so the vehicle on the other side has plenty of room to open their doors without hitting my car.
    The only place where I don't reverse park is at work, for the simple reason where I park is a nice shady spot, but there is a log fence on the side where I would get out of my car if I reversed in, preventing me from getting out of my car.
    The ironic thing is, the OH&S committee has just put up signs saying, "For safety, please reverse park".
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  19. #19
    MrV
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    Quote Originally Posted by Renomad View Post
    When in multi level carparks I try to find spots next to the massive concrete posts and try and park as close as possible to these posts, so the vehicle on the other side has plenty of room to open their doors without hitting my car.
    Yes - this is one the main reasons I try to reverse park whenever possible. The coupe's doors are very big and I find it much easier this helps to maximise the use of the already small spot when reversing in. I recently installed reversing sensors in the coupe, this coupled with dipping the side mirrors results in quick and very accurate reverse parking. Passenger side very close to the white line, preferably near a pillar or other obstruction.

    One situation I don't think anyone has mentioned is when you are reversing out of a spot and somewhere behind is also reversing out and you don't see each other until its too late! I haven't had this yet myself (I try to look where I'm going) but seen some very close calls.

    As for it being a hassle for people behind you, I think that's only if you can't reverse your car into the spot with any kind of control and accuracy. I find it also saves having to back out halfway and reposition your car in a spot if you've gone in on an awkward angle front-ways.

    In any case, a quick getaway is always welcome after a retail nightmare

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    For parallel parking just fit a hydraulic handbrake and with a touch of skill and practice you too can park like Elwood outside Chez Paul! Have seen it done outside the original Valhalla in Richmond in the mid '80's. They had plenty of room to play with but still impressive!
    I agree that reversing in is probably swifter and neater, the exit way quicker and if everybody did it then it may lead to less carnage in the stupidmarket!

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    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    I have never understood people that insist on parking at the shopping centre front door. I park as far as I can from it.

  22. #22
    JBN
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluey504 View Post
    For parallel parking just fit a hydraulic handbrake and with a touch of skill and practice you too can park like Elwood outside Chez Paul! Have seen it done outside the original Valhalla in Richmond in the mid '80's. They had plenty of room to play with but still impressive!
    I agree that reversing in is probably swifter and neater, the exit way quicker and if everybody did it then it may lead to less carnage in the stupidmarket!
    Up at Walcha (New England, NSW) in 1966 at a Walcha Car Club day on the oval, I was passenger in a Honda S600 sports car. The driver was very skilled at handbrake turns and stuff, but it was his fast reverse parking that captured people's attention.

    He would charge the parked cars head on, do a 180 degree handbrake turn, slip the car into neutral before selecting reverse on the run and slipping it deftly between two parked cars. There was about a car and a half space between the two cars just in case.

    I was only his passenger once, as the S600 was a tiny car and I wasn't sure if it was a first time fluke. He did do it a few more times, but I was happier watching it from afar.

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  23. #23
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    @ the OP:

    Try and front into a space on your right in a GTi6 in a tight multistorey city carpark...

    Ever wonder why fork-lifts are rear steer?

    Edit: once again I have replied without reading the whole thread lol sorry for the repeat.
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    1000+ Posts gerry freed's Avatar
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    I never learned to reverse park my C5 in the undersized, underground car parks. Mark you, I wasn't too good at getting into our front drive forwards either, as its scratched flanks would attest. Now it has gone to the graveyard and I have a smaller Hybrid with a sensible turning radius and deep rear window, suddenly parking has become a breeze.
    Kissed rear mirrors with a fiat 500 last night in a Bordeaux multistorey so cramped that the Fiat driver had found it hard to get it into a slot without crossing the line.
    We have these wonderful signs all over the city that tell how many spaces are left in the car parks. They don't take into account the spaces of Isetta size, the 4x4 that take 2 spaces and need a third to open the doors, the habitual crossers of the lines, the half in parkers that block turning in the lanes, the drivers who make a space at the turns and block exit for three others, the spots marked RESERVED (I must get a panel printed and a small chain), the ones with red and white tapes and Travaux signs etc etc.
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    1000+ Posts schlitzaugen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarryC View Post

    [...]

    Can anyone suggest a reason, apart from annoying others?
    This was a while ago, but I remember in Sydney there are special signs telling you that you're only allowed to park face to kerb or rear to kerb (as the case may be). I thought it was funny. Or perhaps they were just local concils straight out of Jonathan Swift's books.

    Not fussed either way, but I've learnt something here. A thief's perspective is always interesting.
    Last edited by schlitzaugen; 11th December 2010 at 10:24 PM.

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