Before you come at me, it's not just men.

Not all men back into parking spots, and not all people who back into parking spots are men.

It's just that I've noticed that most of the people I see backing into parking spots are men. Why do they (we) do it?

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This Twitter user posted that very question earlier this week. I know why I back into almost every parking spot I encounter, but I wanted to read why others do it.

I understand why Madi Kroll wants to know because it seems that backing into a parking spot would take a lot more effort than just driving right in, no?

via Google Maps
via Google Maps
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Not exactly.

Before I get into the reasons I back into parking spots, let's look at the reaction to Madi's post on Twitter.

The good Dr. Lee Myers posts that he (she?) always seems to be behind the person that is wanting to back into a spot, and it causes aggravation for her (him?).

via Twitter
via Twitter
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Anthony is a man who also doesn't understand why those who back into parking spots do it, and he gets annoyed when they do.

via Twitter
via Twitter
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Also, by his own admission, Anthony isn't great at backing a vehicle.

And Andrew is another one who "personally" hates those of us who do back into parking spots.

via Twitter
via Twitter
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Andrew is impatient. He can't wait another 5-7 seconds for a vehicle in front of him to park. I'm sure the ladies love him.

And here's Mike, another man who hates it when people back into a parking spot, saying that men do it because of their "ego".

via Twitter
via Twitter
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Mike, maybe consider not driving so close to the vehicle ahead of you? Try that for a hot minute and let me know how it works out for you.

Now, for full disclosure: I (almost) always back into a parking space. I can safely say that at least 90% of the times I have parked, I have backed into the spot.

When did I start backing into parking spots? When I joined the military.

Photo by Bruce Warrington on Unsplash
Photo by Bruce Warrington on Unsplash
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When I took my driving test in the Army (we had to take one to be able to drive military and civilian vehicles on the German roadways), it was drilled into my head to ALWAYS back into a parking spot. They said it was safer, though they provided me with no proof/statistics.

When we parked our military vehicles in the motor pool, we were required to back them into their parking spots. We were told that it would make for a quicker, safer exit when an alert was called.

Photo by Carlos Lindner on Unsplash
Photo by Carlos Lindner on Unsplash
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When I got out of the Army, the habit of backing into parking spots stayed with me. It turns out, it's a VERY good habit to have.

Aside from aggravating a few people in the Pizza Village parking lot, backing into a parking space is much safer than pulling in forward.

Don't take my word for it: read what AAA (American Automobile Association) has to say on the subject.

John Falcon
Via Twitter
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The Vox story goes into detail on why some driving/automobile experts say it's safer to back into a parking spot.

According to WMBF News, the American Automobile Association says that most people in the US are parking wrong. Over 75% of Americans pull into parking spaces even though (according to AAA) it's safer to back in.

According to AAA, almost 300 people a year are killed by a driver backing up, and about 18,000 are injured. Most of those accidents happened in parking lots. - via WMBF

Did you hear that, Vern? A lot of people are injured and killed in parking lots.

How do we reduce the number of injuries/deaths? We BACK IN to parking spots!

via Google Street View
via Google Street View
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AAA says that backing into a parking spot "maximizes driver visibility and minimizes chances of striking a pedestrian or other vehicle".

If you still don't understand why it's safer to back in than it is to just pull in, allow me to try to explain it.

When you are driving through a parking lot and notice an open parking space, you can drive by it and see if there are any obstructions: shopping cart, motorcycle, child, etc.

If there is an obstruction, you can just drive along. If you are one who parks by pulling in forward, you could quite possibly be halfway into your parking maneuver when you see the object.

via Google Street View
via Google Street View
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After you pass up the spot, you can keep a good eye on what's behind you using your mirrors. As a matter of fact, you can see how close you are to other vehicles better when you reverse into a spot than when you pull in forward as most vehicles don't have mirrors that give a good view of the front bumper.

After you've got the shopping done or you are finished eating at the restaurant, you can now just get into your vehicle, check left and right, and exit the spot. When you back out of the spot, you have to sometimes put the back end of your vehicle into the lane of travel before you can even see if a vehicle (or a pedestrian) is coming. Not the safest situation.

And it's not just men who back into parking spots: I know several women who are prior military or who are officers of the law who back into parking spots. My neighbor is a Lafayette Parish Sheriff's Deputy, and she backs her car into her garage every day.

via Twitter
via Twitter
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I'm sure that many firefighters you meet will tell you that they reverse into parking spots. Why? They'll either tell you that they find it easier to back in, or that they know it's safer. Or, maybe, both.

So don't be aggravated when you see someone who reverses into their parking spot. Don't think that the person who backs in has an ego problem.

Think of them as people who don't want to meet you by accident.

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