To not understand why people say reverse bay parking is easier?

(88 Posts)
crashdoll Sun 07-Apr-13 19:53:29

I was taught how to reverse bay park properly but I find it such a challenge. Everyone says it's so much easier to reverse park. However, I have practiced reversing in to spaces and driving in and I have deduced that driving straight in is easier. I don't find reversing out of spaces difficult at all, it comes much more naturally tome. Maybe it's easier for some people but not for me!


IwishIwasmoreorganised Sun 07-Apr-13 19:55:02

I didn't find it any easier when I had a smaller car, now I've got a bigger car (peugeot 5008) with rear parking sensors I do find it much easier to reverse into parking bays.

fairylightsinthespring Sun 07-Apr-13 19:55:28

If you reverse in you can get a much tighter angle than if you go in forwards, so a narrower space is achievable. You just need to know when to turn the wheel and to use your mirrors.

StickEmUpPunk Sun 07-Apr-13 19:55:49

Its harder to master i think but the easy bit is the fact onced youve reversed in its easier to drive out, manouver and visibility.
I usedto be afraid of it til i forced myself to practice now i wouldnt do anything else.

trinity0097 Sun 07-Apr-13 19:56:10

I think people who reverse into spaces are mad! It's easier to drive straight in and then have your boot accessible, than reverse into a tight space and then find you can't get your trolley to your boot.

I have to say I am capable of reversing into tight spaces if needs be, but I prefer not to. I also sometimes drive across a space and straight into the next one so that it looks like I've reversed in, but never if I am doing more than one bag of shopping!

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 07-Apr-13 19:57:03

Are you being unreasonable to find it easier to go in forwards and reverse out?

Yes. You simply have to find it easier to reverse in.


Of course not. Do what works for you.

I do find it better to reverse in because you do have better visibility when getting back out again.

hellhasnofurylikeahungrywoman Sun 07-Apr-13 19:59:34

YABU grin. It is much, much easier to reverse park.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 07-Apr-13 20:00:49

I bloody hate this pad thing. Or maybe my fat fingers

There isn't a reasonable or unreasonable, only what's rightfor you.
But lots of people do find it easier to reverse in.I got bashed in a supermarket car park by a woman reversing out.
She couldnt see. I was level with her when she chose to shoot out!

hermioneweasley Sun 07-Apr-13 20:00:57

How could this be unreasonable??? confused

GraceSpeaker Sun 07-Apr-13 20:04:42

YANBU! I never reverse in, either.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Sun 07-Apr-13 20:05:59

I find it much easier to reverse in, then drive straight out forwards. It's harder to manoeuvre in forwards because many cars are front wheel drives, which makes it easier to adjust your angle as you're driving backwards and harder to make little adjustments to your parking when going forwards. Apparently it's also safer because you can see more if you're driving forwards out of your parking space. Lots of prangs happen in car parks, so leaving the space travelling forwards is that little bit safer.

I always reverse in - I hate having to drive in forwards as I find it so awkward. Mind you, I live on a road where I have to parallel park every time, so I'm used to reverse parking.

zwischenzug Sun 07-Apr-13 20:07:20

Use your wingmirrors to check how much space you have each side. If you still struggle get a smaller car.

Lueji Sun 07-Apr-13 20:08:43

Because it is, as well as getting out.

The only places I don't reverse park is at the supermarket because I want a clear space behind.
And it is more difficult when there's not much space. I often have to do it in two or three attempts. And to reverse getting out too.
Whereas if I reverse park, I can easily do it in one go both ways.

Redbindy Sun 07-Apr-13 20:10:21

So driving into a space should be safer than reversing in. To me the same risks apply, just at different times.

Lueji Sun 07-Apr-13 20:15:04

So driving into a space should be safer than reversing in.

No. Because when you are reversing into a space you know it's clear.

Meglet Sun 07-Apr-13 20:21:39

Yabu. Reversing in is much safer than reversing out.

If I'm ever in charge it will be the law to reverse park.

I have always revesed into a space. It is much easer to see what you are doing and where other cars/pedestrians are both before parking and then on moving off after.
When you reverse out of a space you can't see what is coming along the road behind you especially if you have a bigger vehicle next to you, where as if you are driving out forwards you get a view of the road much sooner. Quite often the drivers of vehicles coming along are looking for spaces so may not spot you reversing out until it is to late. I much prefer having a clear view of what is coming my way so I can stop/move if necessary.

I have witnessed a 6yr old being run over by a car reversing out of a space as the driver could not see him coming up from behind the small van(vauxhall estate size)parked next to him until he hit the poor boy. If he had been driving out forwards he would have spotted the boy sooner and prehaps prevented the accident.

Redbindy Sun 07-Apr-13 20:27:21

How do you know it's clearer reversing in than reversing out. Where are the statistics. Reversing in is also environmentally unfriendly due to the additional fuel used driving past the space before reversing in.

Reversing in is safe as you have seen what is coming before you start reversing so you know of any hazards befor you start.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 07-Apr-13 20:30:44

no. it isn't the same. A parking space is a small area that is more cut off. There is unlikely to be someone walking through a parking space, a car won't come up into it, you can clearly see everything front and back, you've already driven past it and looked into it and can see that it's all clear.

If you reverse out of a space, you can't see clearly behind you in all directions, you have to inch out until the view is clear. inching out is more risky. cars may come up, people may try to walk round you, etc.

Doesn't it depend on whether you have a rear wheel or front wheel drive car?

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 07-Apr-13 20:32:28

and reversing out takes far longer, therefore using more fuel.

safer and more economical

crashdoll Sun 07-Apr-13 20:32:36

If you still struggle get a smaller car.

It is quite a small car and unfortunately, I no longer have a money tree, so I'm stuck with this for the time being.

smokinaces Sun 07-Apr-13 20:34:49

I reverse in as its easier to pull out forwards when surrounded by parked cars etc. I always also inevitably get the twat who can't park go in the bay next to me at a stupid angle when I'm shopping, and a stupid 4x4 overhanging the line opposite me, so its easier to drive out again as opposed to trying to reverse round them.

I didn't realise it was a safety thing.

I just thought it was to do with the front of the car doing turning and the back just following. So you need more room to turn the front and the back moves less. My technical name for it is wiggle room.

That's not right is it? thank god I don't drive anymore.

tigerdriverII Sun 07-Apr-13 20:38:35

It's tons safer and you have more control/visibility. I'm amazed how few people do it, though. I had two (normally intelligent and practical) women at work positively fawn over me recently, as my reverse parking was "so impressive". I felt like telling them to get some driving lessons.

DrinkFeckArseGirls Sun 07-Apr-13 21:01:06

But if you do a big shop, reverse parking is nit the best idea, is it? hmm

Redbindy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:02:42

I'm too hecsy
"And reversing out takes far longer, therefore using more fuel."
The mind boggles, your logic would suggest that a stationary car uses infinite fuel.
I'll carry on driving as fast as possible.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 07-Apr-13 21:05:44

how big is your car that you can't leave enough room to get the boot open? grin I have got a santa fe and I can open the boot when reversed in. I just make sure I leave a small gap. As for loading, if there's room, bring the trolley down the side, if there's not then I twist the wheels so they're all different angles, which acts as a brake and I grab the bags and shove them in the boot.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 07-Apr-13 21:06:28

my logic? It's in the bloody link I gave.

ChippyMinton Sun 07-Apr-13 21:07:35

Reverse parking is easier. And safer.
And, most importantly, it enables you to make a quick getaway grin

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 07-Apr-13 21:11:52

ha. no, it wasn't. that one was just about it saving fuel generally. not about saving fuel on each run. whoopsie. damned pad. There was a link that said it costs more fuel to stop start out of a space when reversing out. I meant to link that too.

Redbindy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:13:02

I'm too Hyundai
The link has its merits. Your interpretation is a bit suss dear.

beanandspud Sun 07-Apr-13 21:15:07

I always reverse park. I remember someone saying to me once that if you ever had hassle in a multi-story carpark you could make a quicker getaway. I have no idea what sort of 'hassle' I might get but I've always stuck to it wink

In busy shopping centres it's easier to drive straight out since there's inevitably someone waiting for your space. Equally, if the space is tight it's easier to reverse in and drive out than the other way round.

GuffSmuggler Sun 07-Apr-13 21:16:33

Who are these idiots going on about it depends if you have a rear wheel drive?! - the back wheels don't actually turn on a rear wheel drive it makes no difference!!

I agree it's much easier to get into tight spaces and safer to drive out.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 07-Apr-13 21:17:44

"Going backwards cuts petrol bills, say motoring expertsReverse parking saves £100 a yearWant to save an easy £100 a year on petrol or diesel? Here’s how. Reverse-park into the bay outside your home or office.

According to the Institute of Advanced Motorists, backing in rather than parking nose-first will have you £2 a week. The reasoning runs like this: a car takes, on average, a minute and a half for the engine to warm. During the first seconds after starting, it uses 20-25 times more fuel. The best and quickest way to warm it is to drive at normal speeds up to 30mph.

Low-speed manuvring – as you’d need to edge safely backwards from a bay – burns extra fuel."

There we go.

On a cold engine, reversing out of a space, which takes longer on account of you not being able to swing out quickly and smoothly, takes more fuel.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 07-Apr-13 21:18:38

And did you actually do the whole patronising "dear" thing at me? Really?

BarredfromhavingStella Sun 07-Apr-13 21:22:13

Reversing into a space is a peice of piss, YABU grin

Hulababy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:25:48

I can reverse park pretty well. I do so on street parking for work every day. In a shopping centre or supermarket I rarely reverse park as I want my boot accessible for purchases! I do what works best for me practicality wise.

twooter Sun 07-Apr-13 21:26:51

Lots of companies near us insist on reverse parking for safety reasons.

Hulababy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:27:02

In some of the parking spaces I have used in town getting out of your own car door can be a struggle let alone getting to your boot!

I always reverse in, then I'm ok to get out if someone parks too close or their behemoth car overhangs my get-out-space.
Some places I visit at work (NHS clinician) that don't allow reverse parking because it creates fumes near the windows.
But parking face-in is a nightmare because huge vehicles then park behind.

But as they don't let us in the car-park it's academic

Redbindy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:30:51

Nowhere in those quoted articles does it state that driving slowly uses more fuel dear. Hence my statement that you appear to believe that stationary vehicles consume more fuel than those on the move.This is obviously wrong sweetie.

specialsubject Sun 07-Apr-13 21:35:47

some people really do need to learn to drive. Reversing in takes practice but it is SAFER.

Reversing into the space (which you know is empty or you wouldn't be going in) means you come out forwards where you can see properly - you don't know that there will be nothing there when you come out.

learn the length of your car so you can still get into the boot. Most spaces are long enough so you can leave space for this.

As for: 'Reversing in is also environmentally unfriendly due to the additional fuel used driving past the space before reversing in.' Cars use more fuel when reversed cold. So you reverse with a warm engine and drive forward with a cold one. (and of course the extra minute for the manoeuvre does not exactly use a lot of fuel unless you are one of those idiots who slips the clutch and revs the engine)

I always reverse parked UNTIL I had children. Then I needed to get the buggy out the boot so it wasn't practical.
I'm also a whizz at parallel parking. Unlike DH. Mind, he can't reverse park either. grin

Hulababy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:39:23

It's not just the length of the car re getting to the boot though is it? It is also the width of the car and the closeness of cars next to you, whether there is enough room to leave a trolley in front of the car without it rolling away or into a car, whether you can get between your car and the ext car along with handfuls of bags of shopping, etc. Or when there are toddlers/babies - being able to get the pushchair out of the boot and down the side of the car, having somewhere to leave it safely whilst you go back and get said child - and then reverse at the end of the trip.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 07-Apr-13 21:39:39

really? Well, I don't know what you're reading, because I'm reading a sentence that says that low speed maneuvering uses more fuel.
"Low-speed maneuvering – as you’d need to edge safely backwards from a bay – burns extra fuel"

low speed = driving slowly. uses more fuel = erm, uses more fuel.


But since you can't even read my user name correctly, perhaps you're struggling with the sentence too, petal.

I force myself to reverse park as it is horrible reversing out of a bay.

However I remember reversing into a tiny space and having to get a massive pushchair in and out of the boot as well as maneuvere two small kids in and out - it was ridiculous as there has hardly any room. I had to lift the pushchair clear in the air - a fucking massive phil and teds!!!

erowid Sun 07-Apr-13 21:49:19

Reverse parking in a little Micra? I'm useless, but give me a long wheel base transit with no rear view mirror and I can reverse it into a space with only 2 inches spare in either side. I've no idea why but the bigger the vehicle the better handling I have with it.

Either way I hate reverse parking and always try and avoid it.

Redbindy Sun 07-Apr-13 21:53:49

You still appear to believe that cars going at zero miles per hour use an infinite amount of fuel. I suggest you go out to your car and observe the fuel gauge while the car is stationary. Do this for at least eight hours and then report back your findings. Until then be a dear and post about something you understand.

Feminine Sun 07-Apr-13 21:59:56

Even easier is to drive straight in to a bay (that is at the front) and then drive straight out ...grin

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sun 07-Apr-13 22:00:26

You're stupid.

That's not close to what I am saying.

But you go ahead and patronise me if it makes you feel better.

maddening Sun 07-Apr-13 22:04:11

I hate parking forwards - reverse parking is so much easier and i makes leaving easier too.

prettymum Sun 07-Apr-13 22:05:50

I always reverse in as I can't forward park, at supermarket I reverse park into a bay with my boot facing the pathway leading to the shop so I can have easy access to the boot.

Meerkatwhiskers Sun 07-Apr-13 22:09:41

I always reverse park into spaces unless i go to tesco at stupid o'clock at night and there's no-one else in the car park. We even reverse park onto our drive (only one in the row of 5 houses who does) but we are in a close not a main road so doesn't really matter too much.

There is a car park out the front of a hospital in Brighton that you have to reverse park in (well you don't have to but they ask you too). And you have to be good at it as it's chuffing tight!

fossil971 Sun 07-Apr-13 22:10:51

I nearly always reverse in - it's a nightmare trying to get in forwards without shunting. If I'm shopping I leave a bit of room at the back to take the bags round or maybe go in front first if I'll have a trolly.

It's common to have a reverse parking rule in some company's car parks because it's safer, especially in the energy/construction industry.

Also we are advised to do it as a lone female in case you are approached in a car park, you can get in your car quickly and zoom off out of trouble (staggeringly I was actually told this on a H&S course!)

kickassangel Sun 07-Apr-13 22:19:58

But if you're reversing into a space, there's just as much likelihood of someone driving along the road as you try to turn OFF the road, as there is if you are trying to reverse and turn on to the road. And if someone parks really close to your car, you may need the extra manouevrability to get out, whereas you can see perfectly well how close cars are before you decide to move into a space.

As for the amount of petrol, well, is there really that much difference? I don't shunt backwards and forwards for half an hour, I edge back to get a clear view, wait til it's safe, then drive out and away. The same as going out forward, apart from one pause to go from reverse to first.

The only time when it really matters is if you're in the military, when you have to reverse park in case you need to leave in an emergency due to unfriendly fire. I doubt if many of us are in that scenario.

Park how you like, so long as you don't get in anyone else's way. Honestly, life isn't worth sweating the small stuff.

orangepudding Sun 07-Apr-13 22:30:47

I find it hard to reverse out of spaces so always try to reverse park.

I always so two cars opposite each other north back out of a space backwards at the same time in a narrow car park. They were going slowly but they crashed and both had damage. If they had been coming out forwards I doubt they would have touched it other.

CointreauVersial Sun 07-Apr-13 22:34:06

I've just shown this thread to DH because we always have this debate. I always reverse-park (for many of the reasons given above), and DH never does, and he always makes an absolute dog's dinner parking forwards. I knew I was right. grin

The only exception is when I'm at the supermarket. You really do need your rear end sticking out when there's a fully-laden trolley involved.

tiggytape Sun 07-Apr-13 22:35:06

I always reverse park because most places I drive to are hugely busy or at their busiest times so it would be dangerous to try to reverse out into a flow of traffic.

Overberries Sun 07-Apr-13 22:38:55

Perfectly easy either way. Pretty tricky trying to buggy out of estate boot when reverse parked so this dictates my parking style grin

sudaname Sun 07-Apr-13 22:45:45

Is this a reverse aibu then ? grin

My reverse parking skills were one of the first things that attracted my DH. Used to be able to get car in first time, every time with only inches to spare back and front. Don't know why - could just do it, bang on every single time.

Then he told me how impressed he was and ever since l reverse park like a five year old hmm

sudaname Sun 07-Apr-13 22:49:39

My DH always says whenever we drive past anyone struggling to reverse out of their drive on a busy road. 'Reverse in,drive out,it's the way forward !'

sudaname Sun 07-Apr-13 22:53:18

That was to Tiggytape btw.

tiggytape Sun 07-Apr-13 23:10:53

A true reverse AIBU sudaname!

My reverse parking skills are often commented on too - people who wince at all other aspects of my driving and hang onto the dashboard for dear life are very complimentary about the fact I can get into any parking bay backwards in one 'go' (or maybe they're just relieved to know they'll be getting out soon!)

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sudaname Sun 07-Apr-13 23:31:30


Yeah it's daft that l cant do it to save my life now when DH is in the car or watching nearby. It's like l'm under pressure to perform now really.
So my new speciality is the 21 point turn instead grin.

sudaname Sun 07-Apr-13 23:35:46

<polishes collection of neighbours wing mirrors >


sudaname Sun 07-Apr-13 23:36:59

grin - even.

sudaname Sun 07-Apr-13 23:45:20

grin @ image of Tiggys passengers diving out of still moving vehicle and kissing the terra firma in supermarket car park.

'What was that ? Do we want a lift home? Err no you're alright we'll get a taxi' grin

boxoftricks Sun 07-Apr-13 23:47:30

At my friends work car park, they HAVE to reverse park. If not, you get a note and a warning!

VivaLeBeaver Sun 07-Apr-13 23:51:05

There's a multi story near me with tiny spaces and no way would I be able to swing the car forwards into one of the spaces. Can only get in by reversing.

IloveJudgeJudy Mon 08-Apr-13 01:31:22

I believe that if you live on a main road, you have to reverse park on your drive as it's much safer to drive out. I always reverse park, except at the supermarket as I wouldn't be able to access my boot as the spaces are tight and not very long (my Zafira takes up the whole length of the space). It's just a matter of practice. There are loads of videos on the web telling you how to do it. Like many others on here, I can reverse park within inches. If I start off wrong, I just pull out and start again, but that hardly ever happens.

kickassangel Mon 08-Apr-13 02:15:20

If you try to reverse off a busy road, and someone comes along to fast, it is much harder to reverse quickly into the driveway as you're negotiating into a narrower space. So you are left out on the road and vulnerable.

If you are starting to reverse onto the road, and an idiot appears, putting the car in first gear and driving forwards onto the driveway is much quicker.

So it's safer to go forwards onto the drive. Unless there's a high wall obscuring the view.

Fwiw, I can do all sorts of fancy pants parallel and reverse parking, in both the US and UK. I park according to the circumstances, not with some arbitrary rule book in my head.

I'm crap at reversing, I never reverse in to park mainly because I need to open. the boot to load up bags of food. reversing in makes that difficult.

sashh Mon 08-Apr-13 03:10:47

I have practiced reversing in to spaces and driving in and I have deduced that driving straight in is easier.

You do know reverse parking is between two cars at the side of the road, not a supermarket parking space.

YABU . Reverse parking is much easier, and uses less fuel and is kinder to a cold engine when you leave the soace plus it is safer.

I do drive into parking spaces for a big shop at the supermarket but it needs more room to swing into the space, it is much harder to do it neatly in one move and it takes longer to get out of the space as you risk injury to yourself, the car and other people because visibility is so poor especially if somebody with a van or a 4 wheel drive truck thing parks next to you and you can't see over the top. I would reverse in if I could guarantee the person behind leaves enough room to open the boot and stand behind the car but they don't always so front parking it is. Everywhere else, reversing is the best.

Most of all I don't want to be one of those cliched women who can't park that chauvinists would have us believe is the norm with women drivers.

"You do know reverse parking is between two cars at the side of the road, not a supermarket parking space"

No parking between 2 cars on the side of the road is parallel parking which is a specific type of reverse parking. Reversing into a parking space in a car park is, well, reverse parking.

Lueji Mon 08-Apr-13 05:20:20

Then he told me how impressed he was and ever since l reverse park like a five year old

My DS has been able to reverse park and parallel park (!) and do a 3 point turn since he was about 5 in his electric car. grin

Lueji Mon 08-Apr-13 05:25:39

On busy roads to parallel park I often drive in and then maneuvre so that the final movements are the same as reversing.
Front parallel parking is never as neat as reverse.

Lueji Mon 08-Apr-13 05:29:40

Oh, and I hate it when twats helpful gentlemen start giving tips when I reverse park. It makes me want accidentally climb the kerb.

Trazzletoes Mon 08-Apr-13 05:47:54

YABU. Reversing in is much easier!

MiaowTheCat Mon 08-Apr-13 08:42:42

I can't park forward for shite, but I can reverse into some impressive spaces.

I'll be honest - I do it mainly because it's hilarious to watch blokes watching this little woman in a big estate car with a "oooh she'll never get in that because she has breast and a vagina" way and then watch them visibly wilt as I get it nailed dead centrally first try.

Could I HELL do it in a little Micra though (like an earlier poster) - give me a galumphing great Astra Estate and I could do it just fine. Not as confident in our current Scenic but that's because I've not driven as much since we swapped to that car (2 kids, 3 hospital stays and then SPD so bad I couldn't work the clutch pedal) but in the Astra I could get into some spectacular spaces.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Mon 08-Apr-13 08:52:08

I have a Ford Galaxy, it's a never ending length of car behind me! I can reverse in no problem, but I'm buggered if I can reverse out! Not a hope in hellconfused

I used to go in forwards in my Vauxhall vectra but we needed the bigger car and it's a small price to pay.

Where possible I park the arse end of nowhere anyway, all by myself and walkgrin

crashdoll Mon 08-Apr-13 09:49:29

A couple of people asked me "why AIBU?" well, because when I've talked to family members and friends, they look at me like I'm crazy when I say I find driving in and reversing out easier. Parking choices always seems to generate debate, especially in my family.

BiddyPop Mon 08-Apr-13 10:13:33

I always find it easier to reverse in and go forward out. I am more terrified of not seeing something coming (and not stopping) as I reverse out while reversing in is reasonably straightforward (I am happy to move out and realign if need be) - and I have effectively stopped the cars coming around me while I do that so they won't hit me.

I learned a method of sideways on parking here in MN (or was it MagicMum?) - align your front tyre with the front tyre of the car parked in front of your spot, lock hard to the left (so you're moving left) and reverse into the space, straightening up the wheels once your back wheel is close enough to the kerb - you should make it in 1 manoeuvre (2 max if space is tight). It now also means I am able to sideways park in a right hand space as well as left!! YAY!!

But then, I learned to drive in a bit of a tank (fiat argenta), with a Volvo estate (not a titchy one) as the alternative once Dad was convinced I wouldn't scrape the paintwork. And since then, have taken on a lot of different sizes and shapes, and a few LH drives as well (mostly abroad, but once here).

chris481 Mon 08-Apr-13 11:15:10


For the first ten years or so of driving I used to reverse park, purely to make it easier to leave. (Easier as in easier manoeuvre - was not really bothered about the visibility issue.) Then I decided it was illogical: there are two dimensions of difficulty, forwards/backwards and in/out, and I thought that generally speaking it's easier to drive a car forwards than backwards, and easier to drive out of a space (into a larger space) than in, average difficulty will be the same whatever you do, but taking maximum difficulty as a metric, reverse parking must be illogical since it combines the more difficult options from each dimension.

So I switched to forward parking.

I did not actually go into a car park and practise both to see if one felt easier than the other though. I don't understand why people say it is easier to steer a car in reverse, which contradicts one of my assumptions.

I suspect if reverse parking were really easier, more people would do it. In my office car park, where access to the boot is presumably not a factor, almost no-one reverse parks. So I suspect the people who say it's easier are simply wrong. (Wanting better visibility pulling out may be a legimate reason for doing it thought.)

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