Driving your own vehicle is a dream come true for most first-timers. However, it also comes with various responsibilities, one of them being parallel parking. Even the most seasoned drivers make a simple mistake with parallel parking, which could turn to damage other vehicles. This article will provide a step-by-step guide to parallel parking, tips to master it, and mistakes to avoid.
Step-by-Step Guide to Parallel Park
Always Check your Mirrors
Mirrors help us identify obstacles in our way and reduce blind spots. This way, when we start to park, we can check the car behind us or any upcoming traffic. Always check the review mirror, driver side, and passenger side before parallel parking.
Put Your Car in Right Position
Make sure to keep the distance between the sides of the car to at least 2 or 3 feet. Slowly steer your car and park it parallel to the front car where you want to park. This will help you get in a better position from where you can easily park the vehicle.
This is a critical step as we start to parallel park. Slowly turn your steering wheel to the right and begin to reverse. Make sure to reverse it until the rear of your car is level with the rear of the car parked in front of the space.
Align all Wheels
Once you start to reverse back to the parking space, make sure to straighten the steering wheels. You need to keep all your wheels aligned in a straightforward fashion. Make sure to check the mirror to avoid hitting the car behind your vehicle.
Steer to Left Side
After reversing back to the parking space, check the rear side of the vehicle in front of you. If you pass the rear side of that vehicle completely, start to turn left slowly.
Check Your Position
By steering left, you will start to park your car parallel to the parking spot. However, it’s advisable to check your position and adjust accordingly. Make sure to check that you are too close to the vehicle behind you or in front of you. Also, keep some space between your car and the curb.
For Exiting, Reversed the Car First
First, you need to reverse the vehicle slowly to exit the parallel parking. Make sure to keep adequate space between vehicles behind you.
Turn Left and Exit
Once you reverse the car, shift your car forward. Now start to steer left slowly to exit the parking space. Make sure to check all the mirrors to avoid cars and pedestrians. If your vehicle is parked perfectly in the parking space, you can quickly turn left and leave the space without any issue.
Parallel Parking Tips
Mirrors are Drivers’ best friends. Always check your mirror before starting to park and exit. Nowadays, most cars have rearview cameras to help drivers with parking. However, you can always look over your shoulder to get a better view.
Always turn on your signals once you start to park. It will notify other drivers that you are taking a turn, especially during the nighttime when visibility is low. Use the correct turn signal to parallel park to avoid a collision.
Keep A Distance from Curb.
When we start to park, we always look for upcoming traffic, keeping a distance from the front vehicle and back, but we often forget about the curb. To park parallel, we need curb awareness. Without knowing the true distance of the curb, we can damage our vehicle.
Learning to parallel park is not easy, and that’s why it’s important to start slow. Do not rush into parking spaces and start to reverse back. Take your time, look around, check the distance, use the turn signal, and then park. No one learns to parallel park in a day; it requires practice and patience.
Always stay calm while driving or parking. If you are new to parallel parking, start practicing in empty places away from the rush. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and don’t give up. Keep practicing until you get it right. Then start parking in busy places like malls and others. Also, practice during the night and in different weather. Parallel parking in snow or rain is not an easy task.
Mistakes to Avoid while Parallel Parking
- Always check the space where you need to park for any obstacles.
- Turn your wheel on the correct side; most people get confused, steer the wrong way, and hit other vehicles or curbs.
- Start parallel parking by positioning your vehicle perfectly. It will save you time and effort.
- Always check your blind spot. In busy places, failure to check the blind spot could cause a collision with other vehicles or pedestrians.
- Use the correct signal. If you make a mistake with the signals, it will alert the driver that you are going to enter instead of the exit, which could cause an accident.
- Keep your mirror in the correct position. People often make mistakes in changing the mirror position, which could lead to more blind spots.
- Always practice parallel parking in different conditions. This will help you boost your confidence.
We understand that parallel parking is a daunting task but a crucial skill for every driver. Everyone lives in an urban place where we have a shortage of parking space; that’s why we need to learn parallel parking. Mastering parallel parking will take time and practice. Don’t worry about not getting it on your first attempt. Follow our step-by-step guide to parallel parking, learn more about it with our tips, and avoid common mistakes, and you will master it in no time. Learning to drive doesn’t have to be scary! Join our driving school and let us guide you towards safe and successful driving.