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  1. #1
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    When the car next to you parks too close ...

    What is the safest option for loading your infant/child?

    Yesterday I was at a strip mall and purposely parked far away from the stores so I could have extra room around me to load/unload the kids (3yo & 8mo) and don't you know it - some idiot parks sooooo close to my passenger side that I could only load my 3yo normally. I was so irate that the only thing that came to my mind was to leave YDD in her stroller (braked) in the open spot beside me way out of the line of traffic and move my car back and then load her. I'm having nightmares thinking about what I did but I was terrified of putting her on the car seat or on my lap and having something happen or getting a ticket. I have a Kia Rondo and it would be very difficult to get her in over my ODD ... or I could get her in loosely and then move the car and tighten her. At the time I didn't think of that although it is probably the safest option!

    A month ago my DH was loading the kids in the car while I was in for an appt and he said the same thing happened. Since he was carrying the youngest and the oldest was walking he said he just put YDD on the driver's seat and loaded ODD then backed up 10ft with YDD on his lap then put her in (VERY small parking lot in small town, no traffic). I almost had a heart attack, but we've never encountered that problem before!

    So, what do/would you do? (Besides ramming your door into the idiot? )

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  3. #2
    CPS Technician tiggercat's Avatar
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    Whenever this has happened to me, I always loaded the kid in the door on the other side, and heaved them over the seats in the way. I wouldn't be comfortable leaving the child unattended, or driving with them on the seat. I suppose the other option would be to wait for the offending driver to come back and let him know just how impossible he made it for you to get your kid in the car (or go back in and get the store to page his license plate over the sound system).
    Natalie, CRST-I, mum of Greg (15), Megan (10), Benjamin and Samuel (6).


  4. #3
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    You could also try to do it from the front, working kiddo into their seat, and then buckling by reaching over from the front seat.
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  5. #4
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    that happened to me a couple of times right after dd was born in sept 06. i would park away from all other cars in the lot (normally did anyway because i can't stand door dings either!)

    by the time i came out of the the store or wherever i was, there would inevitably be some idiot parked on top of my passenger side. i had an accord coupe at the time. i couldn't get her infant seat in through the driver's side at all and i couldn't open the door far enough on the passenger side to squeeze her in. i ended up literally pushing my door into the huge suv oarked next to me and thinking this is what you get for parking on top of another car when there are a bazillion empty spaces for you to park in right here. i was furious!! i managed to squeeze it far enough to cram the seat into the backseat somehow. being someone who hates door dings i was sick about having to do it to someone else's vehicle, but at the same time i was thinking THIS is what you get for being so obnoxious in the first place!

    needless to say after having this happen a few times, i traded my car in when dd was about a month and a half old for a 4 door sedan.

    if i had a 4 door, i would've been able to get her in via the other side.

    snce that has happened to me i've spent time trying to figure this predicament out. i've come up with maybe the "best" of the horrid options would be to have sat her in the trunk for a moment long enough to pull the car forward enough to open the door and put her in or tried even harder to figure out how to get her in through the drivers sid, atleast into the front passengers seat so i could pull the car forward.... OR if i was at a place that had the ability to page someone, i should have gone back in and taken the license plate and vehilce type with me and asked them to page them to move their vehicle so that i could get my child into the car. (probably the best and most sane option really.....)

  6. #5
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    Yeah, I guess next time I'll consider using the hatch in the back door and climbing in over the "trunk". I'm really mad at myself for not thinking it through because I was so irate! (it was nap time, YDD needed to eat, I was 30mins from home).

    Oh well, live and learn! However, not everyone has a 4door or even a hatchback so maybe some ideas will help when I'm not in my primary car!

  7. #6
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    Would it be bad to put a sign in your window, saying "If I can't get this door open far enough to load my child into her seat, your car WILL have a door ding. I am not responsible for door dings."
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  8. #7
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    now that i'm re-reading, i'd definitely say to go back into the store with the license plate and vehicle info and see if they will page the offender..... i know i wouldn't have thought of that in the "heat of the moment" though!

    another option i could've done was remove dd from the seat, hold her or lay her on the seat for a moment, try to manuever the carseat into place by turning it upside down or whatever needed to be done (maybe upside down over the driver's seat woud've worked?) and then installed dd.

    and worse case scenario, i should've unbuckled her, laid her in the car, sat the empty seat in the trunk, pulled forward and then strapped her in. granted moving the vehicle with her just laying there is frightening and not safe, but it HAS to be safer than leaving her in the parking lot while i moved the car......

  9. #8
    Carseat Crazy
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    I would have beat the crap out of the car next to me trying to get her in first, then I would have done what ever acbatics it took to get her in if that ment seat in first then contorting to get child in I would do it. I have had that happen once to me and i ended up sitting my oldest on the front seat then sitting younger child on seat in the middle and climbing through over her seat to get my youngest in and then climbed back out, but you can believe I did beat the crap out of the side of the vehicle next to me and left some nice marks.

    I would never go in and get the person paged cause I would be afraid that is would be someone who would be really mean and I don't want to endanger my child's life of mine. There are too many horrible people. I will just make sure they know someone was angry at them by leaving marks.

  10. #9
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    I would never go in and get the person paged cause I would be afraid that is would be someone who would be really mean and I don't want to endanger my child's life of mine. There are too many horrible people.

    I would think that if they're that ignorant to park so close to someone when there was an entire parking lot to choose from that they're not the kind of person I would want to meet up with alone with my 2 young children! I'm sure I also couldn't control what might come out of my mouth Besides, it was a strip mall with 5 VERY large stores (Zehrs, Old Navy, Bonnie Togs, Wal-Mart, etc!) so it would have taken ALL day to go through them all and have them paged!

    I'm sort of shocked that it has taken over 3 years for this to happen to me!

  11. #10
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    Because I drive a two-door car, it happens to me all the time. When Joy was RF I just put her in through the cargo area; otherwise we ue the door on the other side of the car.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  12. #11
    CPS Fanatic SavsMom's Avatar
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    LOL! My sister actually did ding the door of the car parked next to her one day. She was sooo mad. They parked so close she (my sister) couldn't even get in the drivers door, and had to load up a 10 month old and 3 year old into her vehicle - on top of that it was below zero, windy and snowing. She got so mad that she left a note on the car about having a little respect etc etc, and when she did get in her car - she opened up her door and gave the other car a good wack on the side (she later stated how bad she felt about doing so).

    Quote Originally Posted by pixels99 View Post
    Would it be bad to put a sign in your window, saying "If I can't get this door open far enough to load my child into her seat, your car WILL have a door ding. I am not responsible for door dings."

    DD - 12/07 - Backless Turbo
    DS - 9/13 - Boulevard

  13. #12
    Senior Community Member Mama Jo's Avatar
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    I was at the store yesterday and someone in a nice new SUV parked right next to me as I was just getting ready to get out of my car. She parked right over the line on my side. I got out of my car, looked at her and shook my head and said, "Nice parking job, you're over the line on my side... I sure hope none of my kids dings your car when they're getting in and out - they're pretty good about throwing their doors open full force." She just turned around and walked into the store, didn't even respond.

    She got a nice sized ding on her door... oops! lol
    Mama to
    DD - 9 yrs. - FN booster, Vivo
    DS - 4 yrs. RNXT, RA50

  14. #13
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    For those of us who don't drive small cars, some parking lots are nearly impossible to park in. I drive a Pilot and am ridiculously anal about being centered in my spot. I will back up and try again eleventy million times until I am as centered and straight as possible. I won't park in "compact" spaces even when there's four Suburbans and a Navigator in them.
    My pediatrician's office has such small spaces that it's hard to park DH's Altima in them and still get kids out. There is no way I can park my Pilot there an leave enough room for a small child to not hit my car. A lot of the parking areas around here are like that. In the land of the SUV, it isn't uncommon to see vehicles parked in two spaces because it's the only way they fit without hitting other cars.
    The sides of my vehicle look like hell. I have been sitting in my car and watched as people open their doors and hit my car. I always say something to them and I swear one of these days someone's going to get me on a bad day and I'm going to report them for a hit and run. I'm getting tired of it. Just because you have a small car and I drive an SUV doesn't mean I'm trying to be a jerk in the parking lot. Just because my doors look like hell doesn't mean I don't care.
    In a parking lot where there isn't a bunch of empty spaces and it's not obvious that the "jerk in the SUV" didn't care about parking, please keep your doors to yourself. Open the doors for your small kids. Sometimes we really can't help it. A little courtesy and benefit of the doubt goes a long way.
    Jessi, CPST: 2003 Honda Pilot, 2010 Toyota Corolla
    T 12/12/06 49" 55 lbs D 1/8/09 44" 50 lbs
    In Use:2 PKWY SGLs, FR80, GN, HB TB Teaching seats: Titan 65, Lite Rider Retired: Wizard, 2 33 lb MA's, 2 50 lb CAs, 3 XTSLs, Regent
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  15. #14
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    I drive an Expediton and my sister has an Escalde - I still ensure that I am parked far enough away from the cars on either side of me so that they can get their doors open. If I can't park that way in a certain spot I move out to a spot further out so I can. Not all drivers of big suvs are rude in this manner - but there are a lot of people out there that park and don't care how close they are to the person next to them...they deserve to get their doors dinged in my opinion!

    Quote Originally Posted by rodentranger View Post
    For those of us who don't drive small cars, some parking lots are nearly impossible to park in. I drive a Pilot and am ridiculously anal about being centered in my spot. I will back up and try again eleventy million times until I am as centered and straight as possible. I won't park in "compact" spaces even when there's four Suburbans and a Navigator in them.
    My pediatrician's office has such small spaces that it's hard to park DH's Altima in them and still get kids out. There is no way I can park my Pilot there an leave enough room for a small child to not hit my car. A lot of the parking areas around here are like that. In the land of the SUV, it isn't uncommon to see vehicles parked in two spaces because it's the only way they fit without hitting other cars.
    The sides of my vehicle look like hell. I have been sitting in my car and watched as people open their doors and hit my car. I always say something to them and I swear one of these days someone's going to get me on a bad day and I'm going to report them for a hit and run. I'm getting tired of it. Just because you have a small car and I drive an SUV doesn't mean I'm trying to be a jerk in the parking lot. Just because my doors look like hell doesn't mean I don't care.
    In a parking lot where there isn't a bunch of empty spaces and it's not obvious that the "jerk in the SUV" didn't care about parking, please keep your doors to yourself. Open the doors for your small kids. Sometimes we really can't help it. A little courtesy and benefit of the doubt goes a long way.

  16. #15
    CPS Technician Pixels's Avatar
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    Sometimes it's better not to be centered between the lines. Sometimes you just have to center yourself between the other cars, or compromise between being centered between the cars and centering between the lines.

    Yeah, if it's a huge, half-empty parking lot and you park out in the back 40, and someone parks on top of you, they're an idiot (and a bit of a jerk, since you parked out there to not be next to anyone). But if the lot is full, then you have to work with what you have to work with.

    My dad sent me to the mall (the big mall that people come from 4 hours away just to go to this mall), the day after Christmas, in his F-350 dually with long bed and full cab. His truck is both too wide and too long to fit in even the most generous of parking spots. But he asked me to go, and I did, because I figured he realized what he was asking, and really really wanted what he sent me for. (Turns out he somehow totally forgot that it was the day after Christmas, somehow.) After driving around for about 15 minutes looking for not just one spot, but two next to each other, I found not only the two spots I was looking for, but the spot in front of one of the spots, the person hadn't pulled all the way in. So I was able to pull the front end of the truck forward into the other person's space, and the back end took a spot and a half. Which is all really a long-winded way of saying, in big lots, if you're determined enough, eventually you will find a spot big enough for even the biggest of vehicles (actual busses, motorhomes, etc. excluded).

    PP, if you actually see the person hit your car, you can always take down their plate and sue them for repairs. If you actually see them do it, you'll win in court. If they just happen to be parked next to you, with paint that matches the color of your new door ding, but you didn't see it, unfortunately you're out of luck.

    I only have one DD, in the middle seat, so I can load from either side. I usually purposely park off-center, or at an angle, because I need to be able to open my back door far enough to get us both in there. If I park centered, too often I don't have quite enough clearance on either side. Oh, and I drive a Civic, so I always fit in the little spots
    Melissa, CPST and Mom to three

  17. #16
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    Quote Originally Posted by pixels99 View Post
    Yeah, if it's a huge, half-empty parking lot and you park out in the back 40, and someone parks on top of you, they're an idiot (and a bit of a jerk, since you parked out there to not be next to anyone). But if the lot is full, then you have to work with what you have to work with.

    Which is all really a long-winded way of saying, in big lots, if you're determined enough, eventually you will find a spot big enough for even the biggest of vehicles (actual busses, motorhomes, etc. excluded).

    PP, if you actually see the person hit your car, you can always take down their plate and sue them for repairs. If you actually see them do it, you'll win in court. If they just happen to be parked next to you, with paint that matches the color of your new door ding, but you didn't see it, unfortunately you're out of luck.
    I try to center myself in my spot because I don't know who or what will be parked in the adjacent spots when I leave. Joe Blow in his Geo Metro might leave and John Doe might park there in your dad's truck even though he has no idea of the size of it. At least I'm still in my spot so John can't say "Well if you knew how to park your car...."

    In most lots, I've given up parking close. I just park way out in the back 40 and hike it. And no, I don't park right on top of the few other cars parked out there.

    I don't make a stink about it unless I actually see them hit my car. The nice big gnarly scratches though I never see them happen. Someone actually hit my bumper and dented the corner a bit and scraped it...no note or anything. I swear my car has a sign that only other people can see that says "HIT THIS CAR! IT LIKES IT. The owner doesn't care..." It makes me so angry! My car's paint looks worse than the paint on DH's car. Mine is a 2003, his is a 1996. His is on construction sites every day; mine is at home, doctor's appointments and shopping.

    When it was just ODS, he was in the center so I could access his seat from either side of the car. It was great trying to get him in while I was hugely pregnant and people parked too close. Now with two kids, they are both outboard (stupid no LATCH and crappy install in the center). If I have to avoid hitting cars that are too close, I guess I'll climb over the third row.
    Jessi, CPST: 2003 Honda Pilot, 2010 Toyota Corolla
    T 12/12/06 49" 55 lbs D 1/8/09 44" 50 lbs
    In Use:2 PKWY SGLs, FR80, GN, HB TB Teaching seats: Titan 65, Lite Rider Retired: Wizard, 2 33 lb MA's, 2 50 lb CAs, 3 XTSLs, Regent
    PetBuckle Review Here

  18. #17
    Car-Seat.Org Zealot skaterbabs's Avatar
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    I completely understand the big car thing - I also drive a 1993 Suburban. But because my other vehicle is a 2 door 1996 Jeep Cherokee, I'm VERY aware of making sure the cars next to me can get in and out of their vehicles without being contortionists.
    Rebekah Branch, CPST from May 2005 until June 2011
    Mom to CJ (7/96, seatbelt), Gregory (4/98, seatbelt), & Joyjoy (10/03, misc. booster seats)
    "That which you create in beauty and goodness and truth lives on."
    - Denis Waitley

  19. #18
    Admin - CPS Technician Emeritus Jeanum's Avatar
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    I prefer to take our smaller car (Scion xB) when possible to park in parking structures or certain parking lots in my area that have notoriously tiny spaces and then inevitably find another vehicle, and not necessarily a larger one, practically parked on top of our car when we go to leave. I've gone in/loaded in the kids through the rear hatch or through the opposite side when this has happened. When it happens next to our Sienna minivan with sliding doors, it's not such a hassle for loading the kids, and more of a hassle for me or DH to reach the front seat. I've occasionally had to get in through the rear sliding door on my minivan to climb over the front console into the front seat myself when someone parks so close on both sides of my front hinged doors that I can't open the front doors sufficiently to get myself in.
    Regards,
    Jean

    DD1 Age 16, 66" Driver's Ed
    DD2 Age 12, 64" 5 steps

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  20. #19
    CPS Technician Lys's Avatar
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    I left a note on a car one time that parked so close to me I had to get in the passenger side and crawl over tot he driver's side just to get out.
    The note said. " Next time leave me a can opener, a**h***!"
    Lysandra
    CPST, LLLL and SAHM
    Mia 13, Ian 10, Clek Olli x2, TB and BubbleBum

  21. #20
    CPS Technician Holly's Avatar
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    Re: When the car next to you parks too close ...

    We had that happen to us not too long ago.
    We were leaving a dr's appointment with both kids, and it was snowing really hard.
    The kid's shoes were wet and slushy, so I had to heave them into their seats from the other side (my oldest is outboard on the side we couldn't open)
    and then dh rolled the window down and buckled her in through the window.
    my youngest was ok because her seat is in the middle and I have to heave her in anyway, but it was such a pain to lift my oldest into the opposite outboard seat, since I'm pregnant too. Dh had to practically squeeze to get in the drivers seat.
    Mom to:
    Hannah 11 Graco Connext, Abby 10 Graco Connext, Josh 7 Recaro Performance Booster, and Zach 2 1/2 Sunshine Kids Radian 80.

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