• Jane Milne
    We are working on making our visitor carpark better as part of improving our traffic management plan on site, 8 parks along a fenceline. This is for limited staff and visitors, couriers, tradies.
    I have noticed some workplace carparks have a "reverse into the carpark and leave forwards" system. This would help with visibility in the area as there can be pedestrians and forklifts close by.
    I can see it working easily for staff and visitors in cars, and less well for couriers and tradies who need to access their vans/utes.
    Anyone have any practical experience to share?
  • Michael Wilson
    This has been debated for many years. Personally backing in to the larger area seems to make sense. I have not seen any statistically significant research. The other question is do you want to make yourself a parking warden by choice?
  • MattD2
    An interesting article on the perils of reverse parking safety proclamations - https://relentlesssafety.com/park-backward-or-else-how-to-incite-maliciously-compliant-safety/amp/

    My opinion - before trying to manage the identified risk with administrative blanket rulings such as a reverse parking policy, consider if there are more effective ways to reduce the risk by segregating the pedestrians from the vehicles. Could a pedestrian footpath be provided so that those parking in the spots have way to get where they are going without having to walk along the roadway in front of any cars waiting to reverse (or even drive straight) over them.
  • Jane Milne
    Thanks for the blog linked there, MattD2, that looks like a great rabbithole of writing to look into :)
  • Chris Hyndman
    I was tasked with looking into the merits of reverse parking at a previous place of work in readiness for an emergency evacuation if required (I worked in the Nuclear Industry where there is a healthy level of questioning and pessimism in everything they do!)

    The pros and cons of reverse parking were pretty much 50/50, in some instances it made complete sense due to the close proximity of roads and shared pedestrian routes that would otherwise require drivers to reverse out with limited visibility.

    From experience I can say that drivers are more likely to avoid pedestrians and look at their surroundings if your traffic flow makes them go past the space prior to reversing. One way systems and herringbone/angled parking help achieve this.

    Also from experience, don't assume that everyone who holds a license has the confidence to carry out a reversing manoeuvre! It is surprising how many people avoid any form of reversing like the plague! I learned this the hard way when I received an incident report where a driver managed to touch 3 cars when reversing into a space less than an hour after introducing the first reverse parking space on site!
  • John Woodrow
    Assess the risk.
    Personally I prefer to reverse in to a space as the danger zone for me is the highway, and I have possession of the highway prior to reversing in (as opposed to reversing out into a live lane). I also have much better visibility of all road users.

    However, if I have to remove items from the rear of the vehicle after reverse parking, and there is limited space I will consider the ergonomic risk of doing so.

    Similarly if two vehicles either side of a narrow space are already reverse parked, I will drive in to the space closer to the parked car on my left (allowing more room on both my drivers doors side for the driver on my right), if all 3 vehicles are RHS drive.
  • rebecca telfer

    I have 3 large sites and our company policy is for all staff and clients to reverse park into our allocated spaces when in class 1 vehicles. Its just second nature to everyone now. Our reason being for implementing this policy is we have trucks coming and going on site all day and it just made sense for visibility reasoning when exiting our sites.
  • Mike Massaar
    It's just as much a safety symbol as it is a safety measure.
  • Sheri Greenwell
    At one previous employer, they instructed everyone to reverse into parking spaces with the reasoning that when we are parking, we are already in driving mode and presumably still thinking about where we are going. When we start the vehicle to drive out of the parking space, we are less likely to be in 'driving' mode and may not be as aware of what is around us, plus it is more difficult to see who or what might be approaching when we are trying to look backward and across other vehicles. My experiences have been petty much aligned with this view, and I now aim to reverse park when I can to make it both safer and easier when it is time to leave.
  • Alex
    We introduced reverse parking for our operational vehicles about 5 years ago. We have a very congested yard in the morning and it makes it safer to move large vehicles in the morning. Reverse parking was implemented about 18 months ago for staff cars - that had a few issues in the mornings with everyone arriving at the same time. The main visitor car park is also reverse parking and is signposted but courier drivers ignore parks and just stop in front o& the door before reversing the full length of the car park - we are working with them to stop this.

    One of the reasons for reverse parking is for emergency situations. We are a utility so may have a lot of movement of heavy vehicles at the same time. Also, with staff cars, if a staff member needs to rush home for an emergency with kids etc they can get away faster
  • Meryn Morrison
    Another reason for reverse parking introduced by an Oil company back in the 70's was because of frost and ice with visibility when getting into a cold vehicle. You couldn't see out of the window and Humans being very patient creatures (not) made this a hazard.
    Some parts of Australia they reverse on an angle, so the vehicle faces the direction of the traffic. This also allows rear loading vehicles a bit of room. More expensive to implement with changing lines and signs. :-)
  • Simon Lawrence
    This conversation is interesting both from the point of view that it can even sustain a debate AND that it was invented in the first place. I have done some internet research and for this one, you need to have science glasses on. Yes, there are articles that state (you fill in the motoring association name) “estimates that 300 deaths per annum” can be saved. Please notice the word “estimates”. I would venture to suggest that this idea deserves to be put into the “utterly contrived and groundless” category. It’s embarassingly stupid. Nothing I could find on internet-land had ANY hard evidence, but there are countless articles promoting it. That doesn’t mean it’s true.

    In my supermarket car park, I shudder to think what carnage would ensue if we were required to reverse into our spaces. I’ve nearly been hit by idiots driving forwards into the space next to me, let alone reversing. And a large proportion of drivers just cannot reverse into a small space from a perpendicular start. They really just can’t. Seriously. This is a bad solution looking for a problem. If you were alighting from your car at the same time as a reverser, you would be meat in the sandwich.

    As for reversing out of a space, I’ve never seen anyone reverse out at a speed capable of causing death. It’s always edging, looking, “I’m in reverse mode”.

    This daft idea has all the markings of an epic myth.
  • Andrew
    I sometimes wonder if there is a tendency to overthink things. And then I get to wondering why. And the only conclusion I can come up with is job preservation / creation.

    I dont know (because I dont measure) but I estimate I have about 1,000+ vehicle on site "road" movements a day from truck/traliors, forklifts, worker vehicles, couriers and customers.

    I recall three "near hits" in pretty much the whole history of the company which is very old. Once a courier was going too "fast" (purely subjective as we dont have speed cameras); once I had ice on the ground after a heavy frost and pedestrians were worried about slipping. And the third occasion was a complaint about a person who reversed into a car park with a bike rack on the back.

    Why people would give this issue even a moments thought, let alone actually try and change behaviour of non-invested stakeholders is totally beyond me.

    And thats five minutes of my life I'll never get back.
  • Simon Lawrence
    This idea appears to have a sort of viral nature. It has a kind of virtue signalling appeal but little else.
  • Andrew
    Sadly this seems to be the way of the modern world. Pick up any company report and it is loaded with stuff which strays far from the core purpose of the business. Our media is chock full of it as well.

    Saw a work car yesterday that had"This car has speed monitored by GPS" printed on the back. Whats that all about? Some boss doesn't trust his staff to obey the roads laws and wants to tell the world? Imagine if I was travelling at 50 or 100kph and could read the label - that's not going to make his driver any safer.

    Edit: Last place I was "instructed" to reverse park was Solid Energy offices. And look where they are now.
  • MattD2
    This idea appears to have a sort of viral nature. It has a kind of virtue signalling appeal but little else.Simon Lawrence
    That is a more concise statement of my experience with the implementation of reverse parking which tends to have two common "reasons" for the idea being brought up:
    • They did it at my past job (which is a common "reason" for a lot of, what ends up as bureaucratic, safety measures), and/or
    • in theory it will reduce incidents/injuries because; you're still in driving mode when reversing in, you have more visibility when moving out, you can check the space as you drive past, etc.
    The issue with the second point is it is typically based off of a "common sense" approach, but no one has gone through the effort to actually define what the specific risk / problem is with the parking in the first place.
  • Campbell Hardy
    All very interesting... I for one believe in the objective of reverse parking... Which is to reduce the risk of contacting other vehicles completing the same maneuver or people walking through. Generally the space which will be reversed into will be clear of both vehicle and people thus reducing risk of contact and likewise when leaving the parking space the driver now has full view of surroundings to leave the park, safely avoiding both vehicles and people. Success - Risk reduced. Chur ; )
  • Robert Powell
    The only time we reverse parked at work was when I was posted to a military explosives depot. If something nasty happened (like a fire in an explosives storehouse) we could pile in and "leg it" as fast as possible before things went boomski.
  • MattD2
    Finally, a valid reason to require reverse parking!

    Reversing into a car space or reversing out of a car space - reversing all the same, either before or after!Carolyn Chalklen
    I have it - we make all carparks "drive-through", therefore we "eliminate" that nasty reversing...
  • Simon Lawrence
    That's a great idea. I'd use such spaces! It would use more area though.

    So is it still just a solution looking for a problem?
  • MattD2
    it sounds like a good idea, doesn't it... until you consider how much additional land you will now need for your carparks... and since the original "risk" is normally built on a fallacy would fit nicely into the cost grossly outweighing the reduction in risk.

    Although there are examples of a liminted form of this idea in the use of drop-off bays.
  • Glenn Taylor
    There's bound to be pros and cons that are very individual for each person or site so if its a consideration then I'd guess do a risk assessment and park accordingly. Personally, I have found that reversing into a car park space to be the most useful for both myself as a driver but other drivers using the same car park. Recent sites I was engaged on here in NZ and most O & G companies I worked for the Middle East stipulate reverse parking so I've just simply got used to it
  • Aaron Marshall
    My understanding of this is that it comes from oil and gas, where you may need to evacuate the whole site, not just evacuate to a safe place on the site.
    I can see that for a number of workplaces with large amounts of D.G, it would be appropriate, but not for most workplaces.
  • Steve H
    Has been a small thorn in my side, Generally stop, block thoroughfare, unload PAT & trolley, and move to foot path from rear of my vehicle and then reverse into park. As a contractor I have to follow this "request", as a client- yeah nah, not so much:smile:

    This concept exploded in Christchurch starting with Downers during the earthquakes/subsequent rebuild, and then spread out like ripples in a pond.

    Makes sense on one level, but watched a car pull into a council park, the driver decided she was going to reverse into the space, only trouble was another car had shot in and was trying to reverse into another park at the same time-crunch.
  • matt Chapman
    Reverse in no exceptions. even tradies, this also has the second benefit of proviuding seperation so the guys are not satnadin around moving traffic, if the traides have work to do then they should be working in a coned off area.
  • Thomas Hayes
    Reversing in is easy at the start of the day because people don't all arrive at the same time however at the end of the day we all leave at the same time so it makes sense to be travelling forward with best visibility.
  • Andrew
    May I be a party pooper and inject some fact into the discussion.

    We have approx 4,000,000 light vehicles in NZ. Many of these will be parking in a carpark every day. Either a work carpark. A supermarket carpark, a public car park or some other place to park cars.

    ACC recently reported in the period YE 30 June 2019 there were 3,000 car park injury related new claims.

    Of these many were due to slipping, tripping, stumbling, and loss of balance.

    338 were due to be whacked by a runaway trolley or similar

    43 injuries were due to being hit by a vehicle.

    So, out of 4 million vehicles there is 0.1 car park related vehicle injury per day.

    The odds of winning a lotto powerball jackpot is 1 in 38 million.

    If we were to take our safety seriously we ought to be focusing on installing hand rails in all our car parks - because this is where the greatest risk is. Hands up anyone contemplating this? Not me!
  • Michael Wilson
    It does look nice to have all your branded vehicles pointing the same way. Unless you are in a scenario where you are looking at possible mass evacuation then the benefits are very small.
  • Trudy Downes
    As a motorcycle rider, I prefer people driving Forward out of carparks.
    As a car driver, I prefer the quick getaway of driving forward out of carparks.
    As a truck driver, I prefer to avoid all carparks.
  • Janene Magson
    do you have stats of people walking into or falling over a vehicles tow-bar. Taking a train station park n ride for example where reversing in would make sense, the vehicles try and get their vehicles(back tyres) as close to the sidewalk as possible, therefor pushing the vehicle, in some cases, almost one metre onto the path with the towbar, so you need to be quite attentive or suffer the consequences......totally different if backing into an area that is enclosed.
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