When you fear having to parallel park, there’s nothing better than overcoming that fear with knowledge. Let’s review and learn how to parallel park.
If you’ve ever taken a driving test, you may have trembled in fear at these words. Even today, if you don’t usually drive around in an area where there is parallel parking, the thought of it will still fill you with angst.
If you’re a new driver and don’t know what parallel parking is, parallel parking is parking your car parallel to the curb. Easy, right? It is easy until other cars are trying to get by you on the road as you try to park in between two other vehicles. That’s where the stress comes in.
To prevent that stress, you might cut your losses and search for an easier parking spot. Eventually, you won’t have a choice and will have to take the plunge. If you have a newer car, the chances are good that it can park for you automatically. Still, there’s nothing better than perfecting the art of how to parallel park for the rest of us. Let’s review how you can be a master!
The saying “practice makes perfect” applies to most anything. It fits, in particular, with the learning how to parallel park. The good thing is that the process of learning how to parallel park is repeatable and you’ll be able to master it quickly.
Let’s suppose you find the perfect place to park. You’ll drive past the chosen parking space and pull up beside the car in front of the space. Then you’ll put the car into reverse and back into the spot. To help you with learning how to parallel park, here are some steps to follow. So, let’s do it!
Check the mirrors for traffic before you pull up beside the car in front of the space. Stop when the rear of your car lines up with the back of the other vehicle.
With your foot still on the brake, turn your steering wheel to the right until it stops. Hold it there.
Now, you’ll want to look over your right shoulder to the spot and back up.
As you slowly back up, keep the steering wheel to the right, and your car will begin to turn into the spot.
Stop backing up when the rear car’s right-front corner is in the middle of your rear windshield.
After you stop, turn your steering wheel to the middle and continue backing up slowly until your car clears the car in front of you. Stop again.
Now turn the wheel all the way to the left and continue to back up until you’re in the spot.
You did it! Your car should be parallel to the curb.
Before you open the door, check the mirrors for cars, cyclists, and joggers. You don’t want to open your driver door on them and ruin your excellent parking job.
As you walk away, look back and enjoy that you’ve learned how to parallel park.
After you do this a few times, you won’t need to stop during the process and smoothly do it from start to finish. If you continue to repeat and practice this 10 step process, you’ll be on the way to being a no-stress parallel parking pro. It’s not going to be as easy as an automated car, but you’ll have the feeling of a job well done.