Why is parking car in reverse better & How to Park Properly In Reverse?

Updated Jun 20, 2018 | Same topic: Let's Drive Smart!

The answer would be fully revealed in our article! Let's check it out!

I’m always the passenger. I tried learning how to drive once but when the minivan I used jumped up and down because I wasn’t able to step on the clutch on time, I was never taught how to drive again. Learning how to drive safely is really something else.

I was told that learning how to drive can be difficult. I was also told that one of the more difficult things to learn is parking the car. I wondered why, and realized that parking a car entails a lot of focus, patience and ‘diskarte.’

Learn to drive a car

Learning to drive is actually difficult

1. Why Parking the Car and Parking it Properly is Important

  • One, you cannot just leave your car anywhere. It may get towed.
  • Two, you cannot always spend money on valet parking.
  • Three, you need to make sure that when you park your car, you won’t hit any other vehicles. If you are not careful when parking your car, it could result in damaging other vehicles and more money going down the drain.
  • Parking your car properly, specifically, within the space allotted for a single car, also shows that you have respect for other car owners who are struggling to find a parking space.

parking a car into its slot in a parking lot

Parking your car properly within the space allotted for a single car shows that you have respect for other car owners

Having said these things, we already know the importance of parking the car properly. But, another question is, why does my husband prefer to park car in reverse?

This is another question that most of us passengers may always ask whenever we are in the parking lot. At first, I noticed that not all cars park the same unless there’s a posted parking rule that says ‘please park facing the wall.’ Without that notice, my husband will always park our car backward, with the trunk facing the wall. I don’t quite understand. Whenever I ask him, he says that it is for him to easily get out later on. I just shrugged my shoulders and let the topic go.

But why, why is it suggested and preferred to park car in reverse? I think it’s about time that we dig into this deeper so we won’t keep on wondering.

2. Why is Parking in Reverse Ideal?

2.1. Most Important – Easier to Get Out

Parking car in reverse is more convenient for the one who’s driving as they will only need to step on the gas and drive forward later on when you check out from the mall. They won’t need to maneuver too much and exercise more arm, leg and neck muscles just to get out of the parking lot after a long day.

Parking a car

Strategically parked to have a smooth escape from the parking lot after a tiring day

90 degrees Parking - How to Correct Yourself

2.2. The driver will have more vision

Since you are literally just moving forward, whoever drives will be able to see clearly who or what is in front of them. Hence, they will be able to control the movement of the car and the speed they need to take in order to get out of the parking lot.

Driving a car out of a parking lot

Parking in reverse will enable drivers to see clearly and be more aware of the surroundings

2.3. It is safer to park car in reverse

Since you have full vision and control of your car, you will have the least chance of hitting other people and vehicles. You will be able to see if there are cars coming your way before you drive out of your parking space. That way, you will avoid unnecessary collisions and problems. Another thing is since you’ll be seeing if there are people passing by, you’ll also have a clearer vison if there are small kids crossing the street. So, you are not only protecting your safety but also you are protecting other people.

3. How to Park Properly In Reverse?

3.1. Look for a good parking spot

First, try your best to find a great parking space – meaning solo parking space, if possible. This will lessen your chances of damaging and getting damaged while you park your car. Especially when you plan to park the car in reverse. Say, if you didn’t find one, that’s okay. Just spot a parking space that’s it.

parking space

Try your best to find a great parking space

3.2. Don’t forget to press the hazard switch

In order for you to ‘mark’ the empty parking spot and also to inform other incoming vehicles that you are about to maneuver on that spot, be sure that you push the hazard switch. Those blinking lights will let other people know that you’re there to either wait for someone or in this case, park your car. It gives them the signal to overtake you and skip that parking space because that one is yours.

car hazard switch

Please be respectful to the vehicles behind you and press the hazard switch if you are parking or waiting for someone?

3.3. Drive in front of your parking space

If there’s still a car parked in it, wait for him to leave completely before making your move. Once it departs completely and the slot is all yours, drive in front of it and make sure that your rear bumper is just about a considerable distance from the entry point.

cars in a parking lot

If there’s still a car parked in it, wait for him to leave completely before making your move?

3.4. Keep your rear view in the clear

This is super important. You need to make sure that your rear view mirror is not blocked. This is your best friend when parking in reverse. It will ensure that you will not hit the car or the wall behind you.

3.5. Use your side mirror

Side mirror is your other best friend. By utilizing the side mirror, you’ll see if you would hit the car beside you. You’ll also be able to see if you have parked within the parking space line and if you parked straight.

Car side mirror

Side mirror is your other best friend?

3.6. Check for other incoming vehicles

So before you do your reverse moves, make sure that there are no incoming vehicles in front or behind you. This will be avoided if you follow tip number two, which is to put on your hazard lights. You can never be too careful anyway. So, still check for incoming vehicles in all directions.

Looking surroundings

Be mindful of your surroundings

3.7. Reverse and Gas

You’re now in position. Next thing you need to do is just switch to reverse gear and slowly step on the gas, with you still controlling the speed of your car. Slowly secure your car within the parking space, making sure you don’t hit anything or anybody.

A car's gear

Make sure you're on the reverse gear and accelerate slowly

3.8. Slip in the Slot and Straighten Up

Once you have fitted in your parking slot, just take a quick look in the side mirror and check if you are aligned with the parking line properly. If not, just move forward a bit and straighten your steering wheel to ensure proper alignment.

>>> Check out other parking tips on Philkotse.com:

Ivy Kristia Padura

Ivy Kristia Padura


Ivy is one of the first Philkotse's content writers. She finds joy in sharing her driving tips, particular for dealing with heavy traffic in Metro Manila, with other fellow drivers.

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