As a newbie driver, parking is one of the most challenging skills to learn, especially in the case of parallel parking. The latter can be pretty intimidating at first. Many people will be nervous, thinking that you might hit the car next to you. The narrow space between two vehicles may make you jittery, and in the end, you might just end up looking for another parking space.
Parallel parking is a very easy skill to learn as long as you have enough space to carry learn it. Difficulty learning to parallel parking occurs when there’s little space, when driving an unfamiliar vehicle, when there’s traffic, and when we feel nervous.
There are numerous factors that can make the easy task of parallel parking hard for most individuals. We’ll discuss different factors that can contribute to making parallel parking hard for you. We’ll look at ways you can avoid these difficulties.
Factors Making Parallel Parking Difficult
Many individuals struggle to parallel park. Here are some reasons why.
- One of the reasons why you may be having difficulty parallel parking is that there is not enough space to maneuver your car. Some drivers can be so annoyed when they cannot park their vehicles properly.
- Another factor that is making you feel like it is impossible to parallel parking is that you are always nervous when parallel parking. Learn to relax and believe in yourself.
- The next reason why you may not be able to parallel park properly is that you are not practicing enough. Practice makes perfect, and a lack of practice in parallel parking is one of the reasons why you still find it so difficult to do.
- The next reason would be poor instruction, whether it is from your driving instructor or someone who is assisting you while you are maneuvering.
If you have been driving for quite some time now and still do not know how to parallel park, it means that you can start learning. An easy-to-understand step-by-step guide would be pretty helpful for this.
Is Parallel Parking Important To Learn?
Many might think that it is not necessary to learn how to parallel park. You may always try to find another parking spot that is easy to park in, and that way, you never have to worry about getting anxious when parking.
Do you also get anxious when parking? What you may not know is that people who learned to do parallel parking are considered the best drivers. Learning to do the parallel park can help with eye-hand-feet coordination, so drivers will get better and better at parallel parking and driving in general.
So, the individuals that have been practicing coordination get better at parallel parking. In my opinion, eye-hand-feet coordination is important in becoming a great driver. Driving instructors even use parallel parking as a test to see how competent a driver is.
Therefore, learning parallel parking is not only mastering the art of parking your vehicle in between two vehicles, but it can help you improve your skills as a driver.
To help you know how to improve your parallel parking, continue reading the rest of this post. We will provide you with a detailed guide on how you can get your car into a space that you might have previously thought of impossible to park. By the time you are finished reading, you will realize that it is actually easier than you have initially thought.
Step-by-Step Guide On How To Parallel Park
Before I provide you with detailed instructions on how to parallel park, here is a short video that will help you better understand the steps mentioned below:
1. Find A Good Spot For Your Car
The first thing that you have to do is to find the spot where you will park. If there are only a few cars, consider yourself lucky that you do not have to parallel park.
On the other hand, when it is quite full, at least find a place where your car will fit. Are you driving a sedan, 4×4, or a pickup truck? Think about how big your vehicle is to find a spot where you will fit.
While finding a spot, make sure to turn on your blinker or signal light. To indicate that you are parking, let other vehicles know that you are slowing down and will be parking.
As you try to find a place where you will park, see to it that it is a legal space. You can be issued a ticket, or your car will be towed if you park in a place where you are not allowed to. More than being legal, see to it as well that the parking space is safe.
Remember not to park next to a fire hydrant, or you may get a ticket or block the fire department if they need the fire hydrant. Do not also park in places with a risk of falling objects.
2. Position Your Car Properly To Park
After finding the spot, position your car so that you will be ready to finally occupy the vacant space. Pull forward in line with the car that you can find in front of your parking spot. If your car is not the same length as the one that is parked in front, your seat should be directly across the seat of the car next to you.
3. Start Backing Up Your Car Into The Parking Space
Now that the two cars are aligned begin to back up. Before doing so, the first thing you have to do is roll down the windows, providing you with a better sight of the parking spot.
Begin backing up and continue doing so until your rear tires are even with the back of the other car’s bumper. By doing this, if you crank the wheel to the curb, you won’t end up hitting the vehicle. Back up slowly with your eyes checking the inside and side mirror, and turning to look back over your shoulder behind you out the window(s) will ensure there won’t be any unwanted contact.
4. Make Sure To Center Your Vehicle
Once you have finally pulled in, the next thing to do is to center your car. Adjust the vehicle so that it will be in the same line (parallel) as the ones in your front and back. Again, it would be best if you did it slowly so that you could check everything.
See to it that you are at least 12 inches away from the curb. Be sure to leave room in front and in the back of your vehicle, so you have enough room to maneuver out from your parking space if someone parks too close to you.
Parking Tips And Tricks To Know
Parallel parking is not the only thing that you should learn. To master the art of parking, here are some of the most important things that you have to keep in mind:
- Take it slowly. Regardless of you are in a hurry, parking needs time. If there are cars behind you, do not give in to the pressure. You need to concentrate and to think of how you will occupy the vacant space. The slower you go, the more time you have to think about what to do.
- Do not just think of how to get in. Think as well of how you will go out. You need to be a forward-thinker. No one would want to be in a situation wherein it is almost impossible to get out of the parking spot.
- Invest in technologies that will make your life a lot easier. The initial cost can be high, but when you think of the long-term benefits, it will be worth your money. Parking sensors, for instance, will provide you with an immediate warning if you are about to collide with another car. It will make parking a lot easier to accomplish.
- If you do not have the technologies for parking, at least, ask for a helping hand from your passenger or from anyone. It will be good to have an eye on your back to give you hand signals on what you have to do to finally fit in a parking space.
- Be courteous. Think about the other people when you are parking your car. Leave enough space for other cars to move. See to it that they will still be able to open their door properly.
- Also, make sure that you are parking in a legal space. Take only the space that you need. Do not park in spaces that are reserved for handicapped if you are not one.
- At the end of the day, the most important thing is to practice. As they say, practice makes perfect, which holds true even when it comes to parking. Practice in an empty area and use markers to mimic cars parked. After hours of practice, you will be able to park your car without the need to sweat.
Knowing how to parallel park is important for anyone who is learning to drive. You will find this skill helpful when parking in most places, such as within your neighborhood. Doing it right will make parking easier, and best of all, there is less likely that you will be damaging the cars around you.
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