“I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.” (Psalm 32:8)
Many of you are aware that my late father, Eugene A. Baril, was an official of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (like the “DMV” in most states). “Gene” Baril was the most skilled driver I’ve ever known. Even as a man over forty, I was very intimidated to drive him as a passenger in my car!
People often tease my sister and me about one driving trait we each have, and it came straight from “the driving expert” Gene Baril: when it comes to driveways and parking spaces, whenever possible, we back in. As silly or petty as it may seem to some, it really makes more sense to back in!
I actually read an article a few months back which said that a huge percentage of car accidents happen in mall parking lots with people backing OUT of parking spaces. In mall parking situations, whenever possible, I back into the space. Or, if it’s one of those “double” type spaces that you often see in shopping center parking lots, I pull into an empty “double” space, then I pull up to the front space so I can just pull the car out when I leave and I don’t have to back out.
At home I ALWAYS back the cars into the driveway. When we leave in the morning, all we have to do is jump in the cars and GO. There’s none of that awkward turning of the head and struggling to back out first thing in the morning that most people go through. Even when I visit at friends homes, I usually back in. Our friends the Ventrescos in New Hampshire always have a laugh that at a social function I always back IN to their long and big driveway, but I do!
I’d guess only about 10% of drivers are “backer-inners” like my sister and me. I’ve noticed my kids usually back in, like me. My wife will do either. I guess a lot of it is habit. But the big expert Gene Baril said to back in, so for me, that settles it!
(Incidentally, I know that certain parking lots do not ALLOW backing in. That’s true for Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri where my daughter Amy attends. They have diagonal parking and all cars must be “head in” or they get ticketed. For my father, that would be heresy!)
He'll Keep The Light On For You
8 hours ago