Thursday, May 3, 2012

The World's Strangest Parking Mishaps

Parking should be a relatively simple process; the driver gauges the size of the parking space, backs neatly into it, and leaves. If you park in the wrong location at the wrong time, you might be risking a ticket, but most people would never dream of parking on the subway stairs, halfway off a dock, or turning their vehicles sideways so they'll fit a too-small space. All these things have really happened, however, plus a huge range of other hilarious and dangerous parking mishaps. Here are just a few of the weirdest ways people have been caught parking their cars.
Subway Parking
French pedestrians were probably surprised and appalled in February 2012, when a confused man driving a Dacia Duster SUV thought the sign for a subway entrance was really advertising a parking garage. Before the mistake could be corrected, he drove right down the subway stairs, putting his front wheels seven steps into the metro station entrance. Unable to back out, the driver chose to park. Police and a tow truck were required to remove the vehicle.
Outside the Box
The lines painted on the parking lot asphalt help indicate where it is and isn't safe to put your car. Some drivers take these lines more as guidelines than as rules, however. Especially in non-Western countries where parking enforcement is lax and spaces are hard to come by, drivers have been known to turn their cars sideways to fit into a space that's currently occupied by another car.
Between a Dock and a Hard Place
if you're not paying attention, it can be easily to run off the road. One unfortunate woman found that this is even more of a hazard when you're driving on the docks. She overshot her intended parking space and ended up with her car parked half on the pavement and half hovering over the water. Only a convenient boat stopped it from falling in entirely.
All Iced Up
This parking spot may have seemed like a good one before the weather changed, but one unfortunate cold-climate driver found his car turned into an icicle after a big melt-and-thaw cycle. Meltwater pouring down from the top of the parking structure flowed right onto his car, freezing solid and keeping the vehicle from going anywhere. Sources don't say how long it took the driver to chip the car back out, but it had to be an arduous process.
Where There's a Will
Most drivers stop when they see their way blocked by a tree, a concrete piling, or a big pipe. This isn't true of everyone, however. More than one traveler has decided that an obstruction is just a challenge in disguise. Even more surprisingly, at least one SUV driver made it over a set of huge steel pipes to park neatly in front of a garage door at a construction site. Most of these situations don't end up going as well, with cars stranded half-on, half-off of the barrier.
All You Need is a Parking Brake
The parking brake is meant to keep your car safe on a steep hill, but that hasn't stopped some drivers from using it a bit more creatively. At least one person decided that the best location for a car was at the top of a narrow stairway at the end of an alley, wedged between a shop and a sturdy stone wall. In this instance, the parking brake was just about the only thing keeping the car in place.
Not Quite Blocking the Disability Spots
Everyone knows that blocking a parking spot meant for people with disabilities is a bad move. One driver decided that it's okay if you're not actually blocking the parking spot. He pulled his compact hatchback in on the slanted yellow lines between the handicap parking space, keeping disabled drivers from getting out of their cars, but not preventing them from parking.
This one is pretty common, especially at malls and in large parking lots. Drivers who aren't paying attention or who are very worried about having their cars scratched by other drivers don't pull quite all the way into the space. The result is enough room to dock a Smart car and an increased risk of being rear-ended by other inattentive parking lot natives.
According to the Law of Superior Tonnage
A bigger truck seems to be directly correlated with a driver who thinks he or she is entitled to ignore the rules. That's why parking lot and garage attendants so regularly see big cargo trucks parked across three spaces, wedged into spots reserved for compact cars, or trapped between concrete barriers that are just too small for them. For the owner of a big truck, there's always a way to make it fit.

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