Parallel parking is a driving maneuver used to park a vehicle parallel to the curb or edge of the road. It involves parking your vehicle between two parked cars, with the front and rear of your car being parallel to the curb or road edge.
Parallel parking is commonly used in urban areas where parking spaces are limited and is often a requirement for passing a driver’s license test.
Parallel parking can be a bit challenging, but with practice, you can become more comfortable with the process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to parallel park:
Find a Suitable Spot
Look for a parking space that’s a bit longer than your car and situated between two other parked cars. Make sure you leave about 1.5 to 2 feet of space on either end of your car.
Signal and Position
Signal your intent to park by turning on your right turn signal (in most countries) to let other drivers know what you’re doing. Pull up alongside the car in front of the space, leaving about 2-3 feet between your car and theirs.
Check Your Surroundings
Before you start maneuvering, check your mirrors and blind spots for any approaching vehicles, pedestrians, or obstacles. Make sure it’s safe to proceed.
Begin Backing In
Start reversing slowly while turning your steering wheel fully to the right. Your goal is to angle your car towards the curb at about 45 degrees.
Continuously check your mirrors, rearview camera (if available), and surroundings to ensure you have enough space to maneuver.
Straighten the Wheel
Once your front passenger-side mirror is aligned with the rear bumper of the car in front of the space, stop. Straighten your steering wheel by turning it back to the center position.
Back In Further
Continue reversing slowly while closely monitoring your rear bumper and the car behind you. Your car should start to move parallel to the curb.
Adjust Your Position
When your car is at a 45-degree angle to the curb, turn your steering wheel to the left. This will guide your car into the parking space.
Complete the Maneuver
As your car’s rear bumper clears the rear bumper of the car in front of the space, start straightening your steering wheel. Continue reversing until your car is fully parked in the space.
Check Your Position
Check to ensure that you’re within a reasonable distance from the curb and that your car is parallel to the sidewalk.
Adjust Your Position (if needed)
If you’re too far from the curb or not parallel, you might need to pull forward and reverse again to make the necessary adjustments.
Once your car is properly parked, put your vehicle in park, and turn off your engine. Check to make sure you’re within legal parking limits.
Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a few tries to get it right. Over time, you’ll become more confident and skilled at parallel parking.