Parallel Parking: Seven Simple Steps
The technique of parallel parking consists of several steps which you have to plan beforehand.
This technique may be complicated as you have to move very close to other cars and be extremely careful. That’s why it’s not surprising that even experienced drivers feel stress and frustration when they have to perform parallel parking.
But hey, here are a few simple steps you can practice easily and without fuss, so you can become an expert in parallel parking!
First, you need to find an available space parallel to the street and between two cars. Don’t hurry and think thoroughly whether your car can fit in that space: it’s better to leave 3 or 4 extra feet between the cars. Before parking don’t forget to indicate your intention to other drivers with a turn signal, showing them that you are going to move in that direction.
Let’s call the car in front of you “A” and the other one “B”. Here are easy learning steps for you.
Get to that car A as close as possible and straighten the front tires of your car, so two cars are now parallel to each other.
It’s very important to be parallel to the car A, so don’t be shy to reverse and move forward once again if needed.
Look to the right side (if it’s convenient for you – hold your right arm at the back of the front passenger’s seat).
Then reverse carefully so that your car’s front tires are close to the rear tires of the car A.
Now stop for a while, turn the wheels fully to the right, then continue reversing.
Do this slowly and carefully, making sure you’re monitoring the distance to the car A. Also, don’t forget to check if some other car is trying to pass you on your left while you’re parallel parking.
When the front door of your car is near the car A’s bumper, stop again and turn wheels fully to the left.
It’s important at this point to stay at a safe distance from the car A: you don’t want getting too close to it, as iyou don’t want to scratch it in the next step!
Looking in the rear window, reverse towards car B.
This step is the most complicated. It’s better if somebody watches from the outside how close you can move to the other car and wave you to stop – believe me, you don’t want to hit the car B!
Now turn the wheels straight.
Move forward, you should be in the middle of the space between two cars A and B not to box them in.
If you are about half a foot from the curb you can stop the engine.
You’d better practice the technique of parallel parking several times to feel confident and sure that you can perform it correctly and without mistakes and accidents.
It’s a good idea to stay confident and relaxed, if you are nervous, take a deep breath and calm down. Sooner or later you’ll become an expert in parallel parking and will use it often.
Watch this video to see an explanation of how to parallel park:
Andrei Zakhareuski is the founder of Find-a-driving-school.ca. He has been writing for beginner Canadian drivers for several years.
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