Backing out of parking lots in a Sedan

I almost feel like there should be a traffic law that requires sedans to park frontside in a large parking lot.

Cars already in the driving lane of the parking lot have the right of way, but trucks and SUVs parking around the sedan (these days, often having tinted or black windows) renders it physically impossible for the driver to properly see… and yet the car that is backing up is required to yield to cars that are already in the lane… which are invisible to them.

I drive a sedan and I’m just in the habit of parking frontside. I’ve never had a collision but in the past I’ve had two close calls in the parking lot and I can honestly say I don’t know what I could have done differently to prevent it from happening other than not needing to back up in the first place. There is no way you can gradually ease out of the lane to see without partially sticking your car into the lane. If there is a truck/SUV with black windows next to you, you simply need to back out the whole way because you are blinded the entire time. Gradually easing out helps any oncoming cars see you as you’re coming out, but those cars technically have the right of way. You have to yield to invisible cars.

What we really need is a built-in trampoline for cars. When it is time to back-out, we activate the tampoline, and it launches our car into the air and onto a landing zone, and then we can exit the parking lot.


Lol! An excellent solution!

I will take the farther-away parking space to avoid having to back my minivan out.

I even have a rear camera, but it still makes me incredibly nervous :grimacing:


I have one too, but it can’t save me from invisible cars coming from the side that have the right of way. I need a sideways camera that can stick out like a noodle to take a peep.

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I almost always pull into a space and drive through the next to be facing out, or I back in if needed to be facing out. You are right, if you park somewhere and a minivan or huge pick up parks next to you, you are pretty much pulling out blindly.


Cars made out of nerf can take hits easy when backing out :sunglasses:

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Not a sedan but I got rid of my F150 for that very reason. It was a nightmare to park. Went with a new Ranger and it is fantastic.

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For other safety reasons, law enforcement recommends backing into parking spaces so you’re facing outward. If you need to get away quickly from a dangerous situation, that’s the quickest and safest option – providing some other car or pedestrians aren’t right in front of you, blocking the lane.

You can also park between two sedans but then when you come back from shopping you might find yourself between two vans with black windows. :scream:

My camera is a huge help when backing out, pretty wide angle.

In parking lots I didn’t think anyone has the ‘right of way’.

If I hit someone else while I’m backing up, it’s my fault. However, if I’ve backed up out of my parking slot far enough that they hit me (my rear side), they are at fault.

Or a drone that pops out of a hidden compartment on the roof, flies up, and gives you an aerial view of your surroundings!

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This might be a nuanced point. It has been said that right of way is not taken, but granted. Among other things, this means that the other driver never has the right to press ahead if he/she sees you backing into his/her path.

The other driver is supposed to avoid collision regardless of circumstances. If you back out suddenly, you may make it impossible for the other driver to avoid collision. If you back out slowly, the other driver can and should grant you (yield) the right of way.

Another example that may elucidate right of way is the green light. If another car is in the intersection when the light turns green, you nevertheless have to wait.

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I feel like it has all become much more difficult since we granted pedestrians right of way over cars. Not only do I have to watch for cars, but for people. It is nerve-wracking, as is backing into a space.

Maybe instead of putting two lines of parking together, they should all be separate, so we pull in front ways and then leave going forward. Unfortunately that would eliminate 1/3rd of the parking spaces…

I almost always park so that I can pull straight out, either backing into a single parking space (a lot easier than backing out), or driving straight thru a double so that I can drive straight out the other side.

Edit to add: I drive a Chevy Colorado 4-door pickup.



I find angled parking spaces far easier to back out of than straight ones. Nevertheless, I will almost always find a space I can pull through to get into (and I have a rear camera) and as close to the cart corral as possible! At least it forces me to exercise!

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The driver in the driving lane of the parking lot always has the right of way, although I suppose it gets into a gray area if the person backing out is already mostly into the lane and the other person could have braked but didn’t… I’m not sure how that would all sort out in terms of liability.

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