Parking

I do apologize that it’s been practically a month since the last post.  I’ll try and be better about that.

Anywho, today, parking is on the agenda.  After witnessing this:

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(at a Walmart, no less), witnessing the mass of people at my apartment complex that park just like this idiot, and witnessing a Bently in an airport parking lot completely destroy the front bumper parking like this, I’ve decided to try and educate people about how to park.

There is absolutely no reason to “bump the curb” with your front tires unless you have one of those huge trucks for men with little penises.

I’m assuming the “bump method” was invented to make sure that the vehicle one is driving is parked completely in the selected parking space.  This appears to be an unnecessary measure taken by those who have no idea how large or small their car is.

Why this method doesn’t always work:

For parking, and everything in life really, you need to know your car.  How long is your car?  What is your car’s ground clearance? Does your car mean anything to you?

It is also necessary to evaluate your own skill set.  Am I able to see and measure distance accurately? Am I able to place my car where I want it?

By answering these questions, you will be able to determine whether you can just park like a normal person.  Parking space lengths vary by location, but this where the “can I see and measure distance accurately” comes into play.  My car, at 11′ 11.9″ long, happily fits in those compact parking spaces.  Your hypothetical 2009 Yukon, with a length measuring 16′, does not get to use a compact parking space.  Your car is, in no sense of the word, compact.

The part that makes me cringe when I see people using the bump method is that their front bumper is mangled by the curb–as seen in the picture above, where the front bumper is actually being bent up by the dirt bank.  This ruins the bumper and can actually rip the bumper off after enough times parking like that.  So, if you have any shred of compassion for your car or cannot afford to buy a new bumper, don’t park like that.  Ground clearance is super important when deciding if you can even attempt to use the bump method.  The hypothetical Yukon has a ground clearance of 9.1″.  I have yet to see a 9″ curb, so you are probably okay using the bump method with your giant-ass SUV.  My MINI, however, does not have significant ground clearance and the bumper will not go over the curb at all. Let’s look at a more popular car–the terrible handling Toyota Camry.  The 2012 LE version has a ground clearance of 6.1″.  The average vertical curb in the US in 6″; therefore,  there is very little room for error.  Tires too low on pressure? scrrrraaaaape.  Curb not measured properly and is a little too high? scrrrrraaaaaape.  Car’s front is a little low? scrrrrraaaaaaape.

It’s much easier and safer to just know how big your car is, how big the space you’re pulling into is, and how far forward you need to pull in before your butt is out of the driving aisle. No need to go any further.  This may require some practice.  Pull into a space.  Estimate how far you need to go, and then get out and see where you are.  Or if you have a nice friend, you can practice parking in a space, and they can watch and signal you when you are in the space.  Remember your bearings for the next time you park somewhere.  A good spacial memory can’t hurt either.

Large trucks, go ahead and use the bump method.  In fact, park over the curb.  I’m tired of your giant hitches sticking out into the aisle and creating a hazard.

Or if you just don’t give a shit, go ahead and bump the curb with your new Nissan Altima (with a ground clearance of just 5.4″).  I’ll just make fun of you and pass terrible judgement on you.

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