If you’ve read my blog about our l-o-n-g driveway, you know that backing my car is not one of my strong skills.

I hate to back.

I’ve backed into more trees than I care to admit. Once with a church van and vanload of women. It was a dark and lighting was bad, that’s my excuse.

Another time I backed into a friend’s tree. No damage to the tree, thank goodness. I immediately drove to our friend’s repair garage and he pulled the dent out for me. Never told hubby and he never noticed.

I took defensive driving many years ago (to lower our car insurance rates, not for a ticket reversal, I promise). Anyway, the instructor said, “The first movement of your vehicle should be forward.”

He went on to point out that most parking lots are marked so that spaces can be pulled through. That eliminates backing easily.

If the parking spaces are marked at an angle, it’s a bit trickier when pulling out from a pull-through. You must be sure the lane between parking rolls is wide enough to maneuver a turn to head out the correct direction. Or, risk traveling the wrong way to the exit.

The instructor also pointed out that if the spaces are straight and flanked by curbs, you should always back into the space. “You know what’s behind you going in – a curb. Backing out you don’t. There could be a person, a car, a pole, etc.”

I took his advice to heart. I rarely pull forward into a parking space. I back or pull though with my SUV. I am constantly amazed at how many other cars follow the same advice.

When I first started going to the sports gym where I swim every morning, I would be the only car backed in. I noticed when I came out the other morning all the cars were also backed into the spaces.I’m not sure whether they copied me or took defensive driving and had the same instructor.

I admit my backup camera helps when I must back, but I much prefer to pull forward out of a parking space.

What about you? Do you back into parking spaces or pull through when you can?