Learning to Parallel Park

December 6, 2019

Have you not parallel parked since your driving exam? You aren’t alone, millions of Americans avoid this type of parking at all costs. But what happens when you are in a situation where you have no other choice? Wouldn’t you rather know how to parallel park rather than risk embarrassment or worse yet, cause an accident?

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Follow the tips below to make parallel parking easy again.

The Steps to Parallel Park

    • Start by checking out the spot. Does it look large enough for your car? Can you comfortably pull into it? Pull your car next to the spot and size it up. If you think it’s big enough and you feel comfortable, move onto the next step.
    • Pull all the way up to the car in front of you. Your front door and the parked car’s front doors should be parallel. If your car is much smaller or larger than the car in front of you, align your back bumpers.
    • Put your car in reverse and start backing up. While you back up, crank your wheel all the way to the right. Be cognizant of the car next to you, don’t cut the wheel so hard that you hit that car. Back up until your front door is past the rear bumper of the car in front of you.
    • Straighten the wheel out and continually slowly backing up. Do this until you clear the car in front of you.

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  • Now turn your wheel to the left, sharply. Keep reversing slowly until you are in the spot snugly without hitting the car behind you.
  • Don’t forget to turn your wheels back to the center. This way when you drive away, you aren’t in an awkward position, putting yourself at risk of hitting another car.

The key to proper parallel parking is practice. Read the tips above over and over again until you have them memorized. Then get out in your car and find yourself some ‘easy’ spots to practice your parallel parking. Just like you tell your kids, practice makes perfect.

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