What could be wrong with pulling through a parking spot? According to experts, a lot.

It's the golden ticket of parking situations. You're in a crowded parking lot when you see an empty spot. As you pull in you realize the spot ahead of you is also empty. "Jackpot!" you exclaim as you pull through and park your car facing out, ready to leave without having to back up.

While this seems like a Hudson Valley driver's dream come true, the practice of pulling through has been criticized by many safety experts. In fact, parking in this manner is actually illegal in many parts of the country for various reasons.

Those who park by pulling through say it's safer because there's no need to back out of a spot. While that's true, the act of pulling through can also be especially dangerous. During the process of pulling through from one vacant spot to another, it's easy to miss seeing someone exiting their car. The person who is looking for traffic coming from behind them, not in front, can unexpectedly get hit by the vehicle that's pulling through.

Another dangerous issue with pull-through parking happens when someone else is attempting to park at the same spot. As you're pulling through and they're parking as normal, the likelihood of both vehicles being involved in a head-on crash increases.

Danger also arises when you return from shopping and are loading items into the back of your car. Someone pulling into the spot quickly may not see you, or if a car is already parked behind you it may be difficult to open a hatchback or maneuver yourself and a cart without damaging the other vehicle.

These hidden dangers of pull-through parking have caused some municipalities to make the practice illegal. We couldn't find any laws in New York banning the practice, but there are some on the books in other parts of the country. Most of the areas that forbid pulling through are in regions where front license plates are optional, making it easy for people to escape detection by plate scanners.

Most safety experts say that pulling through should be avoided in crowded parking spots when there are cars parked on both sides of the empty spaces. If you do intend on pulling through, do so with extra caution. It's important to look on both sides for drivers leaving their vehicles while making sure no one is pulling headfirst into the same spot.

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