Q When backing out of a parking space, it is hard to see, so I always try to do it carefully. I figure when I'm more than half out of the spot, I have a right to continue.

Patti Henshaw

San Bruno

A Oh, you have ventured into an issue I have strong feelings about.

Q I can't tell you how many times I've had car horns blaring at me, the drivers indignant that I didn't immediately pull all the way back into the spot to let them go by. One day, a driver actually squeezed by me, horn blasting and mouth yelling the entire time. Come on folks, give the driver backing out a break, and maybe they'll give you one when it's your turn.

Patti Henshaw

A And ...

Q I know that traffic moving between rows of parked cars has the right of way over cars backing out of parking spaces. However, trying to safely back out of a parking space when visibility is limited in one or both directions and to then have a driver speed by in back of you is frustrating and dangerous. And if you were to hit him, it would be your fault.

I much prefer to give the backing up driver the right of way and wait a few seconds until it is safe for everyone to move forward.

Leon Mendelson

Saratoga

A Me, too. Technically, the driver backing out usually needs to give way, but, jeez, common sense must prevail. I implore, plead and beg drivers to show a little courtesy and allow a person backing out to continue. A parking lot is not a speedway, and going slow and being courteous to others is necessary.

Q I was at the Stanford Shopping Center driving around looking for a parking spot. Finally I saw a car about to back out and I had a straight shot for the space.

However, out of the corner of my eye I saw a truck in the lane with its signal light on. I went for broke, knowing it was wrong, and pulled into the space. When I got out of the car a guy from the truck was standing there yelling at me, saying: "That was my space. I waited five minutes for that space. That was a terrible thing to do. The only good thing you can do would be to back out and let me have my space." I looked at him and said, "OK," and got in my car and left.

Dolores Goodman

A The story doesn't end there.

Q I found a space a few lanes over, but when I got out of the car the guy was standing there waiting for me. He said: "I am so sorry. What a way to start the day. That was a terrible thing I did. I am very sorry."

I then said: "It's a good thing the person did not get out of the car with their fists up. It was just me -- a little old lady."

He looked at me and said, "But, the nicest little old lady."

Dolores Goodman

A You laughed, he laughed and calm prevailed. Good for you both.

Q You've just turned off a traffic-congested street and into the relative calm of a parking lot. Time to relax, right? Not really. During the holidays, parking lots at malls and supermarkets are packed, increasing the possibility of a fender bender. About 20 percent of all vehicle accidents happen in parking lots, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Though these low-speed collisions are rarely serious, they can be costly, time-consuming and aggravating.

Sevag-the-Insurance-Guy

A Aggravating indeed. The first accident Anne-the-Roadshow-Daughter had came on her first day with a license -- in a parking lot.

Q Parking lots are dangerous places. No one knows whose turn it is to back out or cross in the middle of an intersection. Is it reasonable to expect other cars to stop for a car attempting to back out?

Katharine Wilson

San Jose

A It is, but first ...

Q Here is a poem which I wrote on the subject:

I am annoyed at how some people drive.

It's a wonder that most of us are still alive.

The most dangerous place is the parking lot.

Three people competing for a single spot.

Trucks parked in a place for compact cars.

People staggering out of cafes and bars.

It costs a lot if you make a big dent.

And you could end up without enough for rent.

Katharine Wilson

A Thanks for sharing.

Go to Roadshow's expanded online presence at www.mercurynews.com/mr-roadshow and look for rules of the road, construction updates and favorite stories. Look for Gary Richards at Facebook.com/mr.roadshow or contact him at mrroadshow@mercurynews.com or 408-920-5335.