Something I noticed when I moved here is the number of people who back into parking spots in Michigan. I've seen it back home, in a lot of farming communities, and I was told by at least one farmer, they back in, "to get their back bumper out of the road." With pickups, you can put your back bumper further over the parking curb, and keep more of your vehicle out of the way of traffic.

But in Michigan, I noticed it with all sorts of vehicles, not just pickups. So why do so many Michiganders prefer to back into their spots, instead of just pulling in forward, and backing out?

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It's Safer to back in now

Several years ago, AAA released a piece showing why it was safer for people to back into parking spots. It took a while for people to adapt, but like they said, the invention of the backup cameras on vehicles made it MUCH easier for people who aren't normally great at backing vehicles up.

So once it became easier, it became more common.


According to AAA, once backup cameras came stock, the number of people killed or injured in accidents of vehicles backing up went down exponentially. So now, with the invention of those cameras, it's safer for the pedestrian when you back into a spot.

You also eliminate more opportunities of backing into other vehicles when leaving your parking spot. Because if you pull in forward, you usually have to leave by backing out.


In Michigan, and other northern states in particular, weather can play a part in why so many people will back into spots.

I noticed the night before it's supposed to snow, more people will back into spots than a normal day. One of my neighbors explained...

"When it snows, and the ground is slick, you don't want to try and stop your vehicle if you can help it. So instead of backing out, stopping, and turning away, you just... pull out and keep going."

There's nothing more embarrassing than being getting stuck in your own driveway or parking lot.


Easy access

Especially when parking in parking lots, it's wise to make the hood of your vehicle easily accessible. If you were to run into engine troubles, or a dead battery, then it's much easier to gain access under the hood when it's facing a more open area.

Likewise, if you need to jump your car (Maybe you left your lights on?), the other car can pull right up to your hood to jump you.

This also plays a factor with weather, as the extreme cold of some Michigan winters can quickly drain a battery if left idle for long periods of time.


So is there a definitive answer as to why more Michiganders back into their parking spots than in other states? Not really, but given all the added factors listed above, chances are they all play a part in it.

Plus, you look really cool doing that thing where you grab the back of the seat next to you, and look over your shoulder to back in. There's no need to let them know you're just looking at the backup camera's picture out of the corner of your eye on the dash.


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