We all know the nervousness that was accompanied by the last portion of your driver’s exam, where the examiner asked you to perform a parallel park. So with a bead of sweat and your best game face, there you went! Regardless of whether you’ve had your license for a year or a decade, parallel parking can still be downright frustrating and annoying. With these simple steps, you won’t be hesitating to slide into that premium parking spot that requires you to parallel park, because you’ll be a pro!
As you approach the parking spot, turn your signal light on, indicating those behind you that you’re going to be stopping to perform a parallel park. Pull up next to the vehicle in front of the empty space that you’re going to be parking in, ensuring that you’re parallel with it. If you’re the same size as the vehicle next to you, make sure your mirrors are aligned. If you’re a smaller car and the vehicle beside you is a truck, make sure the back of your vehicles are aligned. About 2-3 feet of space should be between your vehicle and the vehicle beside you.
Check both your side mirrors and rearview mirror to ensure that no one is approaching behind you. Also, check any blind spots. Again, if your signal is on, this is a good indication for people to change lanes or stop may even stop and wait for you to parallel park to continue, but always double-check because people on the road can be unpredictable.
Once you’re in the clear, begin to slowly reverse the vehicle as you keep your eyes peeled on the rearview mirror, with a shoulder check to be sure. As you do this begin to turn your steering wheel to the right, one full turn is usually sufficient.
Straighten It Out
As you’re backing into the parking space, begin to slowly straighten the wheel back to its original position, whilst still moving backward. As you’re doing this, ensure that you’re still checking all mirrors for any oncoming traffic and being aware of you and your vehicle as well. Ensure that the front side of your vehicle is clearing the vehicle in front of you and that you’re not going to collide.
Lets Go Left
When the front of the vehicle has cleared the bumper of the vehicle in front of you it’s time to crank the wheel left, getting the front end of the car nice and close to the curb, ensuring that your left side isn’t protruding into the right driving lane.
Check and then Check Again
Once you’re in the spot and nice and close to the curb, inch forward ensuring that there’s an equal amount of room between you and the car in front of you and you and the car behind you. This will ensure that there’s enough room for you to get out the spot when you’re leaving and is also being courteous to the people parked around you, allowing them to get out as well.
That’s it! You did it!
You Aced It
Parallel parking can sometimes be risky business, but when you do parallel and you ace it, it’s pretty darn satisfying, so give yourself a pat on the back! If you’re still not convinced, read it over again, and practice your parallel when there are not actually two cars to between, but instead just the one vehicle that you’ll line up with. That way next time you tackle a tough parallel parking spot downtown it’ll be nothing but a breeze.
Parking downtown or anywhere for that matter that requires a parallel park, or a tight spot can sometimes result in the occasional fender bender or ding. On the off chance that an accident of any sort does occur, Univeral Collision Centre has your back.