An age old debate, to be sure - Many municipalities prohibit back in parking even in places where there is no wall to be soiled because they consider it less safe - It is banned in tons of places with no walls, so that can't be the primary reasonJoeS said:Which brings up an interesting point: many parking garages prohibit backing into a parking spot (because of exhaust marks on the walls), even though it is the safer way of parking.
When you back out, you have all sorts of room while backing in, you're trying to center the car in a space only 3 or 4 feet wider than the car. Backing in takes longer and many who use that method drive forward so fast when leaving that accident statistics show about the same number of accidents as those who are backing out and they are moving much slower - Also, the back-up lights warn other motorists that someone is about to leave the space and you don't get that heads up when someone pulls out suddenly going forward
About mid-way through my 20 year USAF career, the government banned back in parking anywhere and everywhere. Their accident statistics were very clear that it was the more dangerous option. Partly because of the habit that ban created I suppose, I've always made it a point to never back in, though I do use the 'drive through' option wherever possible so I can drive forward leaving without ever having to back up, coming or going ;-)