Archive for July 21st, 2011

Parking Advice: Avoid Drive-Through Spaces

After driving for five hours I’m never at my best, so I parked with atypical abandon at the motel: on the downhill side of a pull-though parking space. Usually I park off to one side of the lot, directly under a lamp that lights the car and shadows the interior, with the hatch backed against the pole. I claim the stupid excuse.

The next morning we hiked out for breakfast and returned to find emergency vehicles scattered all over the motel’s lot. Even from a distance, we knew this might not have a good outcome for us: that’s our van going nose-to-nose with the EMS Medic’s SUV:

EMS Medic parking - overview

EMS Medic parking - overview

Up close, the situation turned out to be much much much better than I expected:

EMS Medic parking - bumper detail

EMS Medic parking - bumper detail

The siren was just kissing the front bumper of our van. I think the SUV rolled forward an inch when they released the brakes after slapping the tranny into Park and bailing out.

For what it’s worth, those fancy pusher bars on the front must be strictly for looks, because the siren & its control box really do stick out far beyond the bars. At the first serious contact they’ll crush back into the grille and do about a kilobuck worth of damage to the front end.

I think the driver wasn’t fully aware of how much snout that SUV has. It looks to be shiny-new, so perhaps this was the first close quarters parking experience:

EMS Medic parking - position detail

EMS Medic parking - position detail

I left a polite note on the driver’s side window pointing out that another two inches would mean we’d be filling out paperwork until noon.

They were gone by the time we left. The siren snagged the corner of the license plate and bent it out as they departed, but that’s not the first bend in that particular bit of sheet metal.

If any of you have a friend on the York PA Medic / EMS staff, give ’em a friendly heads-up for me, OK?

Memo to Self: Always park off to the side, dammit!