I watched a woman grind her enormous SUV into a Subaru station wagon as she was backing into a parking spot at Shaw’s supermarket today.
My question: Why does anyone ever back into a parking spot?
Can’t we all agree that it’s infinitely easier to back out of a parking spot into an empty lane of traffic than it is to wedge your car between two others while your body is twisted around in the seat and your vision is compromised?
And how often have you been trapped behind someone who has decided to back into a spot, only to watch them conduct an awkward series of 3-point turns in order to do so?
So why do people do it?
Unable to resist the opportunity to understand these people better, I quickly parked my car and made my way to the scene of the accident, just to see and hear the woman’s reaction. By the time I got there, she was out of the car, nearly in tears, staring at the damage that she had done to her car and the adjacent vehicle.
Long, ugly scratches in the paint along the side of both vehicles.
“I can’t believe I did that. What should I do?” she asked me.
“Stop backing into parking spots,” I advised.
“I mean, what should I do now?” she asked, sounding more desperate. “I don’t even know whose car this is.”
“You wait,” I explained. “Until the owner comes out.”
“But I don’t have time to wait. I have to be somewhere in fifteen minutes. That’s why I was backing in. So I could get out quickly.”
“At least you’ll be able to pull out quickly once you exchange information with the guy.”
As distraught as she was, I don’t think she realized that I was poking fun at her.