Posted by: safedriver | October 28, 2010

Staying between the lines

We know there are things we’ve done in our past that we regret. Since we can’t go back in time, I try to think about my future actions before I do them. This is especially true when it comes to driving. How conscious are you of your driving actions? Are you aware of the repercussions of your actions?

I couldn’t help myself when I saw this driver parked in the parking lot like they did. A fair amount of their vehicle was still in the parking space behind them. Was this selfishness, or carelessness? I’ve seen drivers who take up more than one space so as to protect their vehicle from damage caused by other drivers. Was this the reason this driver wasn’t fully into their parking space? Did they even know the rear of their vehicle was in the space behind them?

I couldn’t wait around to ask the driver, but it would be interesting to know their reasoning, or perhaps they didn’t know they parked like that. Whatever their reason, it shouldn’t be done. It may anger drivers or worse, cause undue damage to their vehicle. That in itself would put you in a bad mood I’m sure.

We teach our students at Young Drivers of Canada a little exercise that lets them know where the rear of their vehicle is when they’re parking. They learn to find a visual reference in the rear side window that lets them know when the rear bumper is at the end of their parking space. I still use that exercise each time I park my vehicle; whether it’s a pull through parking space or somewhere I have to back in to.

If you know when the back of your vehicle is safely in your parking space, you won’t have to worry about someone hitting your vehicle because they’re trying to squeeze into the space behind you. You’ll leave plenty of space for someone to park behind your vehicle.

I’ve also heard from drivers who say it’s difficult to load groceries into the back of your vehicle when you position your vehicle to face forward out of your parking space. That may be why this driver took up two spaces at the same time. What I would suggest is to pull forward into your space enough that allows you to leave approximately one metre, or 3 feet, behind your vehicle. That’s plenty of room to open up the back of your vehicle to load your groceries.

Protect your vehicle from damage by using the spaces in parking lots the way they were designed; by using one space per vehicle.

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