Tactical Parking for Swift Egress and Evasion
So how many of you tactically park, that is pull forward or reverse into a parking spot?
If you don’t, I’d like to give you some reasons to consider getting in the habit of doing so and thinking defensively about the way in which you stage your vehicle.
The primary reason to park in this manner is that it just makes sense. Yes, it takes a bit of time to reverse into your driveway or a parking spot, but the benefits far outweigh the time it takes.
Increased Field of View
When backing out of a parking space your field of view is severely limited looking through a rear-view mirror and can cause you to miss oncoming traffic, people walking, etc. I basically live on a T-intersection and when backing out of my driveway I wind up looking like my motions are being fast-forwarded trying to keep my eyes on all three different paths of traffic.
It’s essentially the same pulling out after backing in, but I have a greater field of view and better use of my peripheral vision, which is truly beneficial.
Head on a Swivel
Something I always repeat to myself no matter where I am, is “keep your head on a swivel.” This mnemonic device helps me stay focused and always watching everything. This goes for whether I’m at a restaurant, walking my dog or driving a vehicle. I’m always trying to stay aware of my surroundings and possible threats, but at the same time not drawing attention to sporadic movements.
I take this same approach when driving and feel that by tactically parking, I gain an advantage of being more aware of what’s around me at all times and facing any possible threats. There’s just something you loose when backing out. Make yourself back into your driveway or parking spot next time you come home, you’ll see what I mean when you go to leave.
Egress & Evasion
The last and definitely not least important reason to tactically park is simply being able to quickly leave your location. It’s tremendously faster to jump in the vehicle, start it up and immediately pull out, rather than having to reverse out into traffic. Not to mention safer.
This goes for whether you may have to leave during an emergency situation where seconds count, or could even be for those situations you see in the movie where a Zombie is chasing you. Seriously though, next time you park somewhere start war gaming it. “What would happen if I had to leave in a hurry?” “What if I was being chased? When you start thinking this way it will be a no-brainer that you should tactically park.
One thing you won’t or should never see in Secret Service or PSD work is backing out with a VIP. It’s like walking backwards into a room to clear it, you’d never do that would you? Always face potential incoming threats.
Give it a shot and try to get into the habit of tactically parking. Don’t become lazy about it either. After using the technique for awhile it gets easier, trust me. You’ll stop even thinking about it and just do it naturally.
By using this technique you’ll occasionally have to park further out in order to find a spot you can pull through in, but hey, walking never hurt anyone!
So how many of you tactically park and what are your reasons for doing so?