How to Parallel Park without Hitting the Curb and Other Vehicles
Some days, staying between the lines is hard enough, and on most days navigating between two cars is just too much. Parallel parking is not easy, especially for new drivers (and, probably a lot of seasoned drivers), but it can be conquered with a lot of practice and these handy dandy tips.
“Parallel parking can be intimidating, but the key is to take it slow and not get overwhelmed,” advise the experts at TeenDriving.com, who also suggest practicing with large boxes or cones before trying it out in the real world.
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Successful parallel parking starts with the right space.
“Seek out a space you feel comfortable that you can safely get your car into without crunching into another car,” advise the experts at DMV.org. “You will need a space that’s several feet longer than your car.” The TeenDriving.com experts recommend a spot that is at least six feet longer than your car.
Once you have a target in sight, the DMV.org experts advise you to check behind you so that your attempt to park isn’t thwarted by a vehicle on your tail. If the coast is clear, they instruct you to turn on your blinker, and “line up your vehicle with the parked vehicle directly in front of your desired spot. Position your vehicle parallel to the parked car, aligning your bumpers.”
Do a thorough check for people, cyclists, and cars before you start backing up.
“Put your vehicle in reverse. Look over your shoulder at the space to assess the gap. Release the brakes and slowly begin backing into the turn,” advise the DMV.org experts.
If you’re parking on the right-hand side of the road, “turn your wheels all the way to the right. Very slowly back up until you are at a 45-degree angle, then stop. Turn the wheels all the way to the left. Back up very slowly until you are parallel with the curb. If done correctly, you should be less then twelve inches from the curb,” advises TeenDriving.com. “Practice will improve your judgment.”
“Imagine your car is creating an S shape as you are maneuvering into the spot,” advises DMV.org.
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If your parallel parking attempt fails on the first try, it’s okay; turn on your blinker, exit the spot when it’s safe to do so, and start over. Parallel parking is a tricky skill that takes time and practice to master.