Why head-out parking sometimes is not allowed
Often, you will be able to decide in Hawaii whether you want to back into a parking space or if you want to pull straight in. When you pull straight in, otherwise known as “head-in parking,” the advantages are that you will be able to quickly pull right in and it will be very easy to park accurately. The main drawback is that whenever you will have to pull out, you will have to do so more slowly and carefully due to the limited range of vision that you will have. Because of this you will also be much more susceptible to getting into an accident.
That is why it is much safer to back into a parking space whenever it is legal/permitted. When you back into the spot it will be easy for other oncoming vehicles to see you because you will already have your entire vehicle right in the clear line of vision directly in front of them. However, when you are pulling out, other drivers will not initially see your car if there is a car parked next to you. Even once you start pulling out, they may only be able to see a very small portion of your car. Thus, they will have less time with which to react which makes pulling out of your space much more dangerous than initially pulling in.
So, when you are pulling out, it will provide a huge advantage for you to be able to have a maximum amount of visibility. It is also much easier to react when you are in drive versus when you are in reverse. Maximizing your safety when you pull out of a parking space is important because one in every five car accidents occur in a parking lot according to CBS News. So, no matter how you park, pulling out of a space can be dangerous but pulling head-out of a spot is the safest option.
Why head out parking is sometimes not allowed
Occasionally, you will see signs in a parking lot that say “Head-in parking only.” In most of these cases the spaces in the lot are angled and the traffic that will be driving behind you will only be allowed to drive one-way. This combination will increase your field of vision when you back out of your space, and it will simultaneously allow the vehicles driving behind you a much better chance at seeing you back out. Regardless of there being angled spaces and/or one way traffic, if there are signs that forbid head-out parking, do not disregard them and do so anyway as you could end up with a ticket or possibly even being towed depending on the situation.
Your field of vision would still be better if you were allowed to park head-out in these situations. However, if you were to park head-out in angled spaces, it will become extremely difficult to pull out without contacting or coming very close to coming into contact with one of the cars parked next to you. The other issue would be the process of backing into an angled space. It would take much more time overall which would lead to more overall congestion in that parking lot. It would also require that you essentially have your car pointed the wrong way on a one-way street for at least a few moments which is a safety issue. Finally, you would need much more space in order to successfully back into an angled parking spot which you typically would not have.
Whenever you can, you should back into a parking space rather than pulling head-in. Doing so will allow you to pull out with a full field of vision as well as being able to pull out forward rather than in reverse which really helps your ability to react to a would-be passing car. Unfortunately, some parking lots do not allow head-out parking, which is usually because the spaces are angled, and the path of driving is one-way only which would make both backing into a space as well as pulling head-out both unsafe and difficult.