Backing the car, or reverse parking, entails parking into the space tail first to make it easier to drive forward out of it.
Reverse parking can be hard for starters but is easy to learn and can help reduce the risk of collision in some situations.
So, Is It Safe to Back Your Car into The Garage?
Yes, but it depends on several factors, including the size of the traffic of the road in front of your gate.
Reverse Parking Saves Lives
Backing out (the normal tail first way of removing the car from the garage) unfortunately leads to numerous fatalities every year.
A 2018 finding by NHTSA (National Highways Traffic Safety Administration) indicates that over 12,000 vehicle non-occupants (e.g. cyclists and pedestrians) are injured by backing vehicles – 284 of these cases were tragic that year.
This type of non-traffic crash isn’t restricted to parking facilities and driveways but public highways as well.
Small children, the disabled, and the elderly have been found to be particularly vulnerable to accidents arising from reversing collisions.
NHTSA has since made a directive that new cars below 10,000 lbs. (this includes trucks, buses, and passenger vehicles) must be equipped with some kind of rear visibility technology to give the driver better environmental awareness while reversing.
Does Reverse Parking Disrupt Traffic?
One of the common myths about reverse parking is that it disrupts traffic.
In a crowded or busy parking area, it feels much quicker and easier to just accelerate nose-first right into the first slot.
However, (speaking of reverse parking), that time you will spend to back in, you will save later on when you can easily drive out when leaving.
It is dangerous to back out your car into unknown traffic behind you.
It is also harder to do this than back the car into a safe and clear parking stall.
Three Dangers of Backing into The Garage
It is safe to reverse into the garage, but not all the time.
There are a few situations in which you will need to be extra careful or avoid it entirely.
For example, you need to look out for pets or a crawling toddler (if you have one) because you won’t be able to see the ground behind your car while reversing.
1. You Are Being Followed
Reverse parking can only be seamless if no one is following you.
Trying to reverse into the garage while being followed by another car can be risky.
In such a case, you will first need to be aware of the presence and approximate distance of the car behind you.
Then, you should pull aside (if you can) to let the car through before reversing in.
Otherwise, you risk hitting the car trying to back in because the other driver may not be aware of your intentions if they have clearance behind them at all.
2. You Have a Blind Spot Near the Entrance or Inside
Maybe you have a lighting post or some sort of structure that can create a blind spot, making backing in harder.
And because you don’t know what’s happening in the garage – whether someone is about to drive out or a child is walking somewhere – reversing your way into the area can be dangerous.
Although exhaust fumes don’t create real blind spots, they can obscure the view and make the process hard and risky.
The smoke can come from your car as you reverse hard, or may originate from a car inside the garage. The two or three-minute wait for the fumes to clear is not a big concern though.
3. The Carbon Monoxide (CO) Problem
We don’t look it up but the CO gas can accumulate in the garage as you attempt to reverse into the garage.
Think about it – if your garage door isn’t sealed properly, then some of the Carbon Monoxide escaping from your tailpipe is likely to end up in the garage and stay there a little longer because of the limited circulation.
Also, during the winter when the air is cold and dense and without windows to allow the toxic gas to escape the garage, the bad air may keep recirculating in the space for a long time to cause nausea and headaches.
It may even end up seeping into your main living space if there’s a connecting hole somewhere in the wall.
Four Basic Car ‘Backing Into Garage’ Steps
We’ve already established that reversing into your garage is safe, plus a few things to bear in mind.
Now, let’s take a glance at the steps you can take to avoid accidents while at it:
1. Adjust The Mirrors
It’s easy to forget this part, but be sure to check the side and rearview mirrors on your vehicle.
Adjust them to reduce blind spots.
While rear cameras and mirrors can provide the visibility you need, drivers are often advised not to depend solely on the fancy technologies in the vehicle.
These devices can sometimes cause you to lose focus on depth perception when reversing.
2. Look Out the Rear Window
Backing up will require you to turn your head and body to the right so that you can see beyond your headrest and through your back window.
If you want to improve balance, proceed to drape your right arm on the seat’s back as the left hand steers the wheel.
3. Reverse Slowly
Unless you are being pursued by something, reverse slowly.
You are probably aware that the reverse gear is more powerful than the drive gear, so reverse with moderation.
It’s harder to maintain control of the steering wheel when the car is in reverse.
4. Be Sure with The Direction to Steer the Car
The direction to turn the wheel when reversing can depend on whether a boat or trailer is attached at the rear.
When reversing a car without a trailer, you should turn the wheel in the direction you want the rear to go.
If you are reversing with a trailer, you should turn the wheel opposite the direction you want your trailer to go.
You might need to practice this over and over to grasp it.
So, is it safe to back your car into the garage?
Yes, but you need to careful.
Figures from NHTSA show that backing out – the normal tail first way of removing the car from the garage – causes numerous fatalities every year.
You can avoid adding a figure to these damning statistics by reversing your car into the garage.
In fact, this makes it easier to leave the garage in a hurry the next morning.