Many people go through their daily lives without having to parallel park. You might have a regular parking spot at your home, your place of work, and the businesses you frequent.
However, we’re all subjected to the occasional trip to a big city, meaning that we’ll have to try our hands at parallel parking. The act of parallel parking is perceived to be very difficult, but this just isn’t so.
We will review the process so you feel more comfortable the next time you have to squeeze into a tight spot or parallel park for your driver’s test.
The Art of Parallel Parking
You should have gotten a lesson in parallel parking when you went to drivers education. With that said, the skill of parking is lost if you don’t have to use it.
Understandably, you would forget the specifics of parking methods if you don’t have an opportunity or need to use them. Additionally, changing cars can throw your entire process out of whack.
You might have gotten used to the dimensions of one car, only to find that you’re clueless about parallel parking a new vehicle. There’s a method to the madness, and we’re here to help you.
Sizing up the Spot
Parallel parking is often done in extremely hectic circumstances, so you won’t have time to stop your car and measure up the spot you’re trying to park in.
There are normally angry drivers behind you and oncoming traffic zooming by, stirring up your anxiety. This is why parallel parking is so stressful in the first place.
With that in mind, you want to ensure you find a spot with enough room. If you can squeeze in, move along and find a new spot. A closer spot isn’t worth bumping into another car or getting bumped when other cars move.
You should find a spot around one-and-a-half times the length of your own vehicle. That much space will give you enough room to correct small mistakes.
Approach and Set up
As you near the spot you’re going to park in, you must put on a blinker in the direction of the spot. This will normally be the right-hand side unless you’re driving on a one-way street, in which case you might signal left.
You should start the process of parking by situating your car parallel to the car that you’ll be parked behind. If a driver were in that car, you would start the process by being eye-to-eye with them.
The Hard Part: Backing in
Once you’re parallel with the car, you’ll be parked behind; put your car in reverse and back to the point where the other car’s bumper is parallel with the midpoint of your vehicle.
In many vehicles, you won’t be able to see the neighboring car out of your furthest back-right window. That might be different depending on the windows of your vehicle.
Once there, ensure no cars are passing you or coming in the opposite direction. This depends on the size of the road as well. If your front end moves out into the opposite lane when you turn, wait for all traffic to pass.
When you’re free to go, crank your steering wheel toward the parking spot. With the wheel all the way turned, begin to move in reverse. You should be moving at a roughly 45-degree angle.
You will want to keep backing until your passenger-side rearview mirror is parallel to the car’s back bumper you’ll be behind. Once your mirror is side-by-side with the bumper, turn your wheel back in the opposite direction.
Situating Your Vehicle in Its Spot
Moving in reverse once your wheel is turned opposite, you should find that you’re quickly in the parking spot. Your bumpers should be parallel with the cars in front and back of you, and the side of your vehicle should be in line with the curb.
Ideally, you will be two or two and one-half feet away from the curb on the passenger side. You should also be evenly spaced between the cars in front and back of you.
This can be difficult to manage, especially if the spot is tight. It’s alright to get out of your car and see how much room you have now. In fact, it’s reasonable to hop out quickly if you’re unsure at any point whether you will hit a car.
You can trust your gut in most cases because the spot should provide enough space for a little error. When situated, ensure that you’re giving other cars enough room to maneuver out, otherwise, you could get bumped.
When Parallel Parking, What Is the First Thing You Must Do?
As you make your parallel park consider checking your car’s mirrors twice in a moment, turn your indicator light on to signal all the drivers you are parking, and then pull your car next to the vehicle you aim to park behind. Remember, when parallel parking, keep a recommendable distance of about 16 to 24 inches from the car ahead of you.
If I Fail Parallel Parking, Do I Fail the Whole Test?
No, you may not fail the whole test, depending on how you did the other part of the test, but some of your points may be knocked off from your score. If you dill well in almost all the other test parts, you will recover the points lost in parallel parking and pass the whole test.
Moreover, it also depends on how badly you will do it when the examiner claims for it. If you don’t put any effort into the parallel parking test, you are not ready and serious about the test. In this case, you may expect to fail the whole test.
How Do Self-Parking Cars Work?
Self-driving cars use various sensors, including ultrasonic, radar, and camera sensors, to detect and locate an open parking area. These incredible sensors modify a 360-degree car surrounding view by panning a safe parking maneuver through the car’s computer.
The car uses brakes, steering, and accelerators to execute the parking maneuver safely. It adjusts to its parking position according to the surrounding on each side of the car until it is correct. Afterward, it straightened out and finally parked.
How To Adjust Side Mirrors for Parallel Parking?
For you to adjust your car’s side mirrors correctly for a parallel park, follow the simple procedures below:
- Ensure you adjust while in the driver’s seat because mirrors reflect light. It also helps you be comfortable reaching out to the pedal and steering to avoid unnecessary movement when peeping at the mirrors.
- Look out at the passenger and driver’s side mirrors and make necessary adjustments to see the edge and the entire side of your vehicle.
- Adjust the rearview mirror properly by ensuring you see the car’s back to avoid blind spots.
With those procedures followed, get on the wheel and make your perfect parallel park.
How To Reverse Park Between Two Cars?
For you to reverse park between two cars, you should:
- Find a spot of your choice and pull up along the car in front, leaving approximately two feet between the vehicles.
- Steer to the right and back up your car until there is an alignment between the rear and back bumper of the vehicle just in front of you.
- Turn your shoulder to look behind and check the mirrors to ensure it’s safe for you to proceed.
- Steer to the left and back up your car until it’s perfectly at the center of the parking space.
- Straighten the steering wheel and reverse until the car and curb are parallel.
- Check all the mirrors and turn your shoulder to ensure the car is at the center of the parking space.
As you make the reverse park, be slow and patient to avoid crashes. Also, frequently over-the-shoulder and check the mirrors for a better reversal.
How To Parallel Park in a Tight Spot?
- Signal to notify the other drivers as you pull up along the vehicle in front of your chosen spot. Leave about two estimated feet between the cars.
- Turn your shoulder behind you and check the mirrors to ensure safety before proceeding.
- Reverse your car until the back bumper in front is even with the rear bumper.
- Reverse the car as you turn the steering wheel to the right until there is an angle of 45 degrees between your vehicle and the curb.
- To make sure the expected proceeds are safe, over your shoulder and check the car mirrors efficiently.
- Steer your car wheel to the left and reverse until the vehicle is in the chosen empty spot.
- Straight up the steering wheel and pull your car parallel forward to the curb. After that, you are good to park your car.
What Is the Best Parallel Parking Distance Between Cars?
The best space between the vehicle’s driver’s side and the passenger’s side next to you should be about 3 feet. Parking distance gives you room to reverse your car smoothly and avoid unnecessary crashes when you are unpacking.
How To Parallel Park Between Two Cars?
- Find a perfect free parking spot.
- Signal, check your surrounding by turning and checking the mirrors, and assume you are in a good position.
- Turn your wheel to reverse slowly to the right side.
- Straighten out well, turn the wheel again to the other side, and back up until your vehicle and the curb are parallel.
- Ensure your car is in the center of the free spot, then back up until your vehicle touches the curb.
How to Get Over the Fear of Parallel Parking
1. Practice in an Empty Space
Find an empty parking lot or a quiet street with no other cars around to practice parallel parking. This will allow you to get comfortable with the process without feeling anxious about hitting other cars or holding up traffic.
2. Start with the Basics
Learn the proper technique of parallel parking, including reference points to use, how to adjust your mirrors, and how to turn your steering wheel. Practice these techniques repeatedly until you feel confident and comfortable with the process.
3. Use a Backup Camera or Parking Sensors
If your car has a backup camera or parking sensors, use them to help you park. These technologies can assist you in gauging your distance from other vehicles and objects, making the process less stressful.
4. Find Larger Spaces
Start by practicing parallel parking in larger parking spaces until you feel more comfortable. Gradually work your way up to smaller spaces, and remember to take your time and go slowly.
You will overcome your fear of parallel parking with practice and patience and feel confident on the road.
Other Options for Parallel Parking
A lot of newer vehicles give you the option of automatic parallel parking. In other words, the cars just parallel park themselves.
This is pretty crazy, and it might seem scary if you’ve never done it. Rest assured, your automatic parking vehicle will do a job that’s on par with, if not better than, what we humans can do.
Don’t sweat if that’s out of your price range and you’re still scared to parallel park. It’s not illegal to take your time and be careful parking. No one will arrest you if you double-check your spacing for a few more moments.
Additionally, you can ask a pedestrian or friend to observe your car as you parallel park. This gives you another set of eyes and ensures you won’t bump into other cars without holding up traffic.
Need Driving Practice
We all need a refresher here and there. There are a lot of components to being a safe driver, and we don’t use them all of the time.
Visit our site if you need to brush up on the finer points of driving, whether that means how to master parallel parking or feeling confident on the road.