Parallel parking was once the prime fear of every driving test victim. Not any more. What with power steering, automatic transmission, rearview cameras, ever greater efficiency of car design, and a greater number of parking lots, it is more easily accomplished and less often used by today’s drivers. Nonetheless it remains a skill well worth acquiring.
It seems counter intuitive but the easiest, most efficient and safest method is to begin by backing into the selected space. Nosing in requires a lot more backing and filling accompanied by head twisting, shifting and, usually, a lot of cussing. Remember people are watching and laughing.
So, here it is. Pull up exactly parallel to the car parked in front of your selected space; shift into reverse; place your right arm along the top of the seatback (no rear view mirrors!); look directly back through the rear window and ease your car back into the space making sure you don’t hit the curb or the car parked behind you. Next, shift into drive, crank the steering wheel toward the curb and ease forward remembering to keep an an eye out in both directions. There you are, easy and done. Remember speeds greatest enemy is haste. Take it slow and you’ll finish faster and safer.
Okay, so nobody has been injured or killed parallel parking. (At least it’s rare enough to be ignored here.) However a dinked bumper can cost more than $1,000 and you are responsible for all cars damaged. That can result in a heart attack or stroke and not a little embarrassment.
Want to improve your parallel parking or other driving skills? Derek Brown’s Driving Academy can help. Take a course or in-vehicle lesson.