29 July 2008
Reversing into a parking space is not only safer, but could save motorists around ¿100 a year in fuel, motoring experts claimed this week.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) said reversing into a space meant cars were in a safer position for pulling away. At the same time, the manoeuvre could help in terms of vehicle security and fuel economy.
New data from the IAM Motoring Trust had shown it took an average five year old car a minute and a half for the engine to warm up.
"Reversing out of a space when the car's engine is cold uses around 20 to 25 times more petrol in the first few seconds than it does when warm," explained an IAM spokesperson. "If you do this 10 to 12 times a week that adds up to a cost of about ¿100 a year, not to mention the increased wear on the car's engine."
She added that reverse parking was also usually safer, and was advised in the Highway Code.
"Reversing into somewhere you can see - a parking bay - rather than reversing out into somewhere you cant see - often a line of moving traffic - is much safer.
"It is also easier to control a car going forwards than backwards when it is first started, and attempting a potentially high risk manoeuvre such as reversing when you have just entered a car and are not concentrating fully, is more dangerous."
IAM went on to say that from a security point of view, reversing close to an object such as a wall could make it more difficult for thieves to gain access.
Also, if someone needed to leave a parking space quickly for personal security reasons, driving forward provided a quicker opportunity and improved vision.
For those finding it difficult to reverse into a parking space, IAM offered a few helpful tips.
"Many drivers find it helpful to lower the left nearside mirror to provide a guide to your lateral position," said the IAM spokesperson.
"Another option, where all the parking spaces run in parallel rows, is to line your car up with the space in front and reverse back in a straight line. This should automatically position you in the centre of the space but do remember to look where you are going!"
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