Mastering Parallel Parking: A Step-by-Step Guide from Sure-Drive Driving School
Parallel parking is often considered one of the most challenging maneuvers for new drivers to conquer. However, with the right techniques and practice, you can master this skill and boost your confidence behind the wheel. At Sure-Drive Driving School, we’re here to provide you with a comprehensive step-by-step guide that will help you navigate parallel parking like a pro.
Step 1: Choose the Right Spot:
Find a space that is at least 1.5 times the length of your vehicle. The ideal spot should have enough space in front and behind it to allow for smooth entry and exit.
Step 2: Prepare Your Vehicle:
Signal your intention to park by activating your turn signal in the direction of the parking space. Position your vehicle parallel to the parked cars, leaving about 2 feet of space between your car and the parked car ahead.
Step 3: Align Your Rear Bumper:
Back up slowly until your rear bumper aligns with the rear bumper of the parked car in front of your chosen space. Turn the steering wheel to the right (clockwise) until it is fully turned.
Step 4: Reverse and Check Your Mirrors:
Gently shift into reverse gear and begin to back up slowly. Keep an eye on your side mirrors and rearview mirror to monitor your surroundings.
Step 5: Observe Your Rear Tire:
As your front door mirror lines up with the rear bumper of the car in front, stop. At this point, your car’s rear tire should be parallel to the curb.
Step 6: Begin the Turn:
Turn your steering wheel to the left (counter-clockwise) as far as it can go. This will angle your vehicle towards the curb while ensuring enough space between your car and the parked cars behind.
Step 7: Continue Backing Up:
Gently continue backing up, keeping a close eye on your side mirrors to ensure you’re maintaining a safe distance from the vehicles around you.
Step 8: Straighten Out:
Once your car is parallel to the curb and your rear tire is clear of the car in front, begin to straighten out your steering wheel. Align your car parallel to the curb.
Step 9: Adjust Position:
If necessary, adjust your position by moving forward or backward to ensure your car is well-centered within the parking space.
Step 10: Check Your Distance:
When you’re properly parked, your vehicle should be within 6-12 inches from the curb. Make sure you’re not blocking traffic or impeding the flow of vehicles.
Step 11: Final Check:
Before leaving the parking space, double-check your mirrors to ensure it’s safe to proceed. Signal your intention to leave the parking spot and slowly pull forward.
Step 12: Practice, Practice, Practice:
Parallel parking requires practice to build confidence and accuracy. Find different parking spaces to practice in and gradually challenge yourself with tighter spots.
Remember, mastering parallel parking takes time and patience. Each vehicle is different, so it’s important to practice with the vehicle you’ll be driving regularly. At Sure-Drive Driving School, we encourage you to practice this skill in various scenarios under the guidance of experienced instructors. With consistent practice and a clear understanding of the steps, you’ll soon be parallel parking with ease and confidence, making it just another part of your driving skill set.