From the headline you must assume I back into parking spots all the time. I don’t. I probably do it less than 10% of the time.

But when I even occasionally do this at work I hear about. People get irrationally put off. I’ve heard things like “what are you trying to prove” or “nice superiority complex.”

Give me a break.

We all have backup cameras in today’s cars and it makes it easy. It doesn’t take me any longer to back into a space in a parking lot than it does to pull in front first. There’s no hidden message here. I’m not showing off. I don’t think I’m better than you. In fact, you’re the one pointing it out, not me.

But here’s what backing in does. It makes it much safer when it’s time to leave.

Classic cars in a row parked on asphalt parking lot

When you’re backing out of a spot the sensors that tell you if a vehicle or pedestrian is approaching from the side often fail. Tests even show an object representing the height and mass of a young child placed eight feet behind a car didn’t trigger sensors one in four times.

We back out of spaces into an area that can be busy with cross traffic and pedestrians in motion. Whereas we back into spaces between two stationary objects. It’s a no-brainer.

Countless articles can be found online explaining that it’s safer to back into a parking space and leave it going forward. AAA even urges drivers to back in when possible and refers to pulling in forward as most people do “a common parking lot mistake.”

So look, if you ever see me backing into a spot, spare me your diatribe about how I’m arrogant. How arrogant could I be driving a 9-year-old car with 200,000 miles on it? Science says we should all do it this way.


Do you want to scold me for doing other things right too? How about also yell at me for flossing, or filing my taxes by April 15?

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