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Driver dilemma

You should always reverse into a parking space - and here's why

Parking like a boss.

THERE ARE MANY reasons why you should back into a parking space rather than driving forwards.

Reversing into a parking space gives you greater control and makes it easier to manoeuvre out the space. If you think reverse parking is difficult, it’s much more difficult to try and wiggle your car out of a tight space when you have parked front first.

Nowadays, with most new cars coming with backup cameras and parking assist systems, it is easier to reverse-park than ever.

By the way, I am talking about reversing into spaces that are perpendicular to the wall or perimeter. I’m clearly not talking about parallel parking which should only be attempted in reverse.

Here, then, are the reasons why reverse parking is the only option:

  1. It’s safer. When you reverse into a space you are going into a designated space with no vehicle and pedestrian traffic. By reverse parking, you avoid backing out blindly into oncoming traffic or into the path of pedestrians. You can see your surroundings more clearly.
  2. In an emergency, it’s much quicker to get into your vehicle and drive straight out. This could also be seen as a safety precaution too.
  3. Reversing close to a wall may deter thieves from breaking into your boot as there will not be enough space for them to work.
  4. Driving forwards into a parking space is a false economy in terms of overall manoeuvring time and safety. You will spend just as long (if not longer) trying to safely reverse out of the space into traffic so it makes sense that you do it safely into the empty space.
  5. If anything should happen to your engine – for example you leave your lights on and the battery goes flat – you will have easy access to the bonnet if you have reversed parked.
  6. It’s more fuel efficient. According to research from the Institute of Advanced Motorists, as reported by Aviva UK, reversing out of a parking space with a cold engine uses 20 to 25 times more fuel in the first few seconds than a warm engine. Doing that several times a week adds up in terms of fuel costs, not to mention engine wear-and-tear.

So let’s get reversing. When you find a spot, put on your hazards to let people know you are about to reverse, and when it is clear take your time and park that motor like a boss.

READ: 6 scenic springtime drives across Ireland >

READ: How to deactivate the passenger airbag – and why you might need to >

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