children and cars

inspired by this thread

I feel the need to share something that makes me a little crazy. Backover accidents where children are killed or hurt. there are people offering solutions, web sites dedicated to public awareness and evidently even a bill trying to become law in the works.

I could easily post more links but the point is that every single one of these sites, including the famous (in the world of car drive safety anyway) 100 car study MISSES the single simple easy and unbelievably effective way to truly and dramatically reduce the chances of backing over or into anything.

the space.

yes its that easy, back into the garage/parking spot/driveway then drive out.
first of all you have to drive and back no matter which way you do it, so dont tell me you are to lazy, its the same damn maneuver. Second, Don’t sit here on a message board and argue with me about it, at least not until AFTER you actually try it and have some kind of input other than what you “think” the differences are.

if you drive in to a space you must back into the unknown when you leave, you are unable to see well in any direction the car is moving, and if its a street/parking lot you are backing into traffic and pedestrians that you dont know are there.

Now turn it around. you arrive at your house, you just arrived, you know exactly what is happening on the street, you can see the driveway, you can make the call if you need to wait for traffic/pedestrians to move out of your way BECAUSE you are on the street with the danger. so at this point you have made backing as safe as you possibly can and removed 90% of the danger from the equation.
note if you are one of those people who “cant back” because you suck at it, here is a solution, find a nice quiet parking lot, set up some cones and do some reverse figure 8’s around them for 5 minutes or so, then practice backing into some parking spots. most people cant back not because they “suck” at it, they cant back because they have never in their entire driving career actually practiced backing

one really big key when you back into a parking spot that most drivers miss is that you need to straighten out the wheels as soon as the car is straight with the spot you are trying to get into. A lot of drivers leave the wheels turned and get all wonky really fast.
this issue seriously gets on my nerves, working in the driver training industry I spend a lot of time teaching students how to do this stuff, then I go out to lunch with the owner of the school I am working for and he drives just like the rest of the general public…if my 15 year old students can do this so can you.
50 children in America are killed every year when their parents back over them…think about it.

What if I’m backing into my garage and I hit a kid playing in there (for some stupid reason, I’m sure)?

Otherwise, yeah, I agree. I don’t know why more people don’t back in.

Yeah, that. Why would backing into a spot (or garage) be any more safe than backing out? Especially in parking lots where kids can appear from between cars just as easily from either direction.

Bottom line is: Backing up requires extra diligence, no matter if you’re backing into a spot or backing out of a spot.

[quote=“EmAnJ, post:2, topic:489793”]

What if I’m backing into my garage and I hit a kid playing in there (for some stupid reason, I’m sure)?
well its still the same question, is it safer to back into the open garage where you can see whats going on (I admit in a garage you could easily have sight issues) or backing out of the same garage where you will have truly massive sight issues?

I think it’s actually a good idea and will probably start doing it. But moreso because backing out of my driveway is nerve wracking. There’s horrible blind spots when I do it and I’m scared to death of hitting someone or something.

I had that question too.

Oh. Seems fair enough.

I agree with you in principle. However, there are a few considerations if you use an indoor garage which make this a little problematic.

If you park you car indoors, you know that lining it up can be more critical than at a space in a lot. Parking lot spaces are designed with enough room to provide space for opening car doors plus a little margin. If you’re a little too much to one side, all that happens is that your door won’t have as much room. In a garage, you might just make a $600 scratch if you scrape the lawn mower.

Plus, I find that judging penetration depth much more difficult when backing up, and this dimension is much more critical in an indoor garage, since you don’t want to crush your kid’s bikes, yet you have to be in far enough to let the door close. Six inches in or out of a lot space makes no difference, but it makes a huge difference in a garage (squished bike / door won’t close).

I also have a concern with exhaust. Backing in means your car’s rear penetrates the deepest into the house, and the potential for exhaust to penetrate into the house is much greater. You also go much more slowly when backing up, so there is that much more exhaust pumped into the garage. When you drive in forward, your tail pipe is outside for almost the whole time.

We keep both our cars indoors, and drive them both in forwards. Sometimes, when my wife’s car is gone during the day, and I have a load of groceries to unload from the hatch-back, I will back the car into the middle of the space usually occupied by both cars. I do love the feeling of " launching out" of the garage going forward, but it’s still a lot trickier to back it in, even with all that space on both sides, for the above reasons.

Finally, you are going to be backing up on your drive way no matter what, unless you have a drive-around driveway and/or a drive-through garage. (Do they even make those?) I agree that if you back IN, you have a chance to do a visual sweep from the street first, but you’re still backing up to go in.

I do agree, though, that the risk of backing over your kid is very real. We have a no exception rule with our son that when a car is to be in motion on the driveway, he is to go and stand in a designated spot where he can be seen quickly by a driver backing out or coming in. If he’s outside we always check to make sure.

I’d like to back into our garage for just the reason you list; however, this puts the driver’s side on the outside, towards the garage wall, and I can’t open the car door. We keep two cars in our garage, and my husband’s is backed in. The other one, mine, must be driven head-in to the garage so that my door opens towards the center of the garage. If our garage was bigger, I could manage it.

Backing in is a standard in the oil-field and the way they got to comply was looking at it from an evacuation point of view. When you are arriving somewhere you know you have the time to back in because you wouldn’t be going in if it was going to explode. On the other hand you might be leaving because it’s going to explode. Where do you want to spend the extra time it takes to backup?

judging depth is very very easy, if you need to get your wife to help the first time and back the car in and get it perfect, now while you are sitting in the drivers seat look directly to your left at the wall…anything there you can use for a reference point? if not bust out some tape (or a sharpie but that is forever) and put a mark on the wall, poof now you know where to stop. I also have some tricks that I dont think would translate well across a message board but I can try.

for lining up in a space most drivers just turn the wheel in the direction they want to move and they keep turning, to much. try this instead, its called turn and counter turn. while backing turn the wheel 1/4th turn in the direction you want to move, back until you are close to where you want to be then counter with a 1/4th turn to the opposite side. (NOTE these turns are FROM the straight position so a move to the right would look like this, start with hand at 12 oclock, turn to 3 oclock then counter over to 9 oclock. you can use half turns as well for a dramatically faster move.

cant help with the exhaust bit but with the door open I dont think that would be much of a problem

In order to back into the garage, you have to first drive past the driveway+garage. You’ll probably see the kid then.

I live on a busy street with only one lane in each direction.

When I back out from my driveway, I wait for a break in traffic (obviously). Which happens, eventually.

If I were to try to back into my driveway, I don’t have the option of waiting for a break in traffic. I would signal, stop, and before I had a chance to switch to reverse, would have another car right behind me, blocking the driveway, wondering why I was stopping on such a busy road.

My FIL hung two fluorescent orange rubber balls from the ceiling of our garage, placed so that the cars are in the perfect position when the windshield just touches them.

this is the truth, you can still do it but it takes a long approach, you have to slow really early and move as far to the right as you possibly can as soon as you can to encourage them to pass, even then you will get people who simply dont grasp the concept that someone might want to back into a driveway and may end up on your bumper…I dont have to deal with that situation every day but I hear where you are coming from. When teaching I have students parallel park in downtown Seattle and it seems like about half the time some genius pulls up right on our ass and then looks mystified in spite of the turn signal, the empty parking spot and the obvious gigantic sign on the roof of the car that says “Student Driver” they usually honk at us then swerve around in a huff.

This makes my skin crawl in the day-care parking lot. People start chatting and let their kids run around all over. Idiots come rushing through this very small, even cramped parking lot at 20 mph. Idiots on cell phones, idiots reaching around to undo car-seat buckles while parking . . .

Thank goodness Spring is here so at least this isn’t all going on in the dark!

Not just cars…golf carts too apparently.

First drive slightly into the driveway at a very shallow angle, then turn the steering wheel the other way so that the front of the car points into the road (i.e. the back of the car is pointed at the driveway). At this point it takes very little space behind you to back into the driveway. And if you do it slowly enough with the turn signal on, I think most people will understand what you’re trying to do.

ooo the Swoop, honestly hadnt occurred to me to use that on a street, all the time in parking lots though