One of the most challenging skills to develop, especially for new drivers is learning how to parallel park. Proper parking is a necessary skill for all drivers and parking in general is easy to learn. But in the city or in areas where space is a premium, parking spaces are not very spacious. Usually areas with cramped spaces will only have provisions for parallel parking and if you’re not confident in your parking skills or you don’t know what to do then you’ll really find it difficult to parallel park. Here’s how to parallel park correctly.
First, you need to check if the space that is available is enough to fit your car in. This is easy to do in parking lots or spaces where there are convenient markings painted on the ground. As long as the clearly marked spaces are not occupied by parked cars then you’ll most probably be able to fit your car in the space. If the parking lot has unmarked spaces though then you’ll have to estimate it yourself. The best way to do this is to drive to the side of the parking space and stop there. You can then estimate if the space is big enough for your car with ample space for maneuverability.
If you think the space is enough for your car, it’s now time to prepare to park. Turn on your signal lights so that you can inform the other drivers about what you are going to do. This is an important step so that you won’t get into an accident. Now, provided that you’ve stopped the car to the side of the space, move your car forward until you think that you’ve aligned yourself to the parked car at the front of the vacant space. This is your starting point. To make sure that your starting point is accurate, align the back of your front seat to the back of the other car’s front seat.
Once you’ve aligned your car with the other car, you can now reverse. Put your car in reverse, look to the right or left, depending on where the space is located and start backing up. The moment the car starts moving you should turn the steering wheel toward the curb. When the back part of your car’s front door is aligned with the rear bumper of the car in front you, you should now turn the steering wheel the other way, away from the curb. Your car will slowly back into the space.
When your car is inside the parking space, make the necessary adjustments. Go back and forth and try to align your car and leave an equal amount of space at the front and back of your car. Your car should be about 6 to 8 inches away from the curb.
Practice your skills with this fun parallel parking game
Photo from driversedguru