Can Backing Into a Parking Space Prevent Accidents?

UTAH. In very few places are there explicit laws on how individuals should park their car. New York City, for example has some parking areas where drivers are explicitly required to back into a parking space. Where city parking can be busy and where streets can be crowded, backing into a space has clear benefits. However, in most parking lots in America, drivers can choose whether to park head on or to back up. But, which is safer?

Can Backing Into a Parking Space Prevent Accidents? 3

According to How Stuff Works, most experts agree that it is far safer to back into a parking space. Why? When backing into a parking space, your vision is reduced behind you, where it is unlikely that there will be pedestrians and other cars. After all, when was the last time you saw a pedestrian sitting in an empty parking space? The greatest risk when parking backward is that you’ll misjudge and hit another car. These kinds of collisions tend to be slow and generally result in only property damage. However, when you are leaving a space, there are far more hazards, such as drivers looking for empty spaces, pedestrians, and the occasionally runaway shopping cart.

According to Vox, every year, 300 people are killed and another 18,000 are hurt by drivers who are backing up in parking lots or driveways. Many of these accidents could have been prevented had drivers chosen to back into a space. While backing in takes more time up-front, it can save a life. Studies have also shown that individuals with more motivation are more likely to back into a space. They are willing to deal with the up-front hassle for the benefits they can enjoy later. Some researchers who study parking habits of Americans even claim that those who back into spaces are able to delay gratification.

So, while it may be harder to back into a parking space, it may actually be safer for you in the long run. The best possible scenario is a parking lot where you can pull through (where the parking space in front is also free and open). While many parking lots are designed to allow for pulling through, not all allow drivers to do so. Pulling through can also have hazards if you are not looking for other cars that may be trying to pull in, so it is always wise to take things slowly and to drive defensively.

So, while doing your holiday shopping and braving the crowded parking lots, stop and think about how you’re going to park. If you can, consider taking the time to back in.

Finally, if you or a loved one was hurt or injured in a parking lot accident, you may have important rights under the law. You may be entitled to seek damages for your medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Truman Law Firm, P.C. are personal injury lawyers in Utah who work closely with victims and families to help them seek the justice they may deserve under the law. Parking lot accidents may happen at slower speeds, but they can be incredibly dangerous. Visit us at to learn more about your options and rights.