This Fall, BDG Studios is partnering with VW to talk about our favorite Unwritten Rules Of The Road. From demonstrating an appropriate zipper merge to giving a friendly wave of recognition when a driver lets you cut in ahead of them, these rules (not laws) of the road are aimed at ensuring that all drivers make it to their scheduled destinations as safely and as harmoniously as humanly possible.
Of the many roles parents play in their kids’ lives, chauffeur is one of the least glamorous but most important. Driving to school, playdates, extracurricular activities, and the million other places parents shuttle their kids off to is what allows kids to have the experiences that shape their childhood. It also means that regular trips to the gas station are a fact of life, as is popping inside to pick up a gallon of milk, an air freshener, or one of the other hundreds of useful items in the average convenience store.
What’s not convenient is pulling into a busy gas station to see all of the pumps occupied. It’s an experience that’s slightly annoying when everyone is actively pumping but infuriating when there’s a car parked in front of a pump while the driver is nowhere to be found.
It’s an unwritten but plainly obvious rule of the road that pump spots should not be used as parking spots and that drivers should park their car somewhere that doesn’t block a pump if they just filled up.
Are there some exceptions to this rule? Probably. If you’re the only person at a gas station with a high number of available pumps, then you probably don’t have to move your car from a pump spot to a parking spot while you run inside for a fountain soda. This is especially true if you’re filling up at off hours, like late at night or early on a weekend morning, when the chances of an influx of drivers taking up all of the pumps are slim.
Another exception could be if all of the non-pump parking spots are occupied. If that’s the case, a trip inside while your car takes up valuable real estate outside is defensible. There’s nowhere else to put it, after all, and the best you can do is to make that trip as speedy as possible so your fellow drivers aren’t forced to wait longer than necessary.
But as long as there is a parking spot available, and even if there are some pumps available, it’s better to err on the side of caution and courtesy. It may be a minor inconvenience to you, perhaps, but the satisfaction of not inconveniencing other people, living more harmoniously in the overall gas station ecosystem, and maybe even setting an example of courteous behavior for the kids in the back? Totally worth it.