If perhaps you feel pressured or get sweaty palms when required to squeeze your vehicle between two other cars, know that you’re not alone. It is one of those assessments most people tend to fail in their driving test, Ontario. However, this doesn’t make it an impossible task. In fact, it is easier than you can imagine with the right driving lessons. As such, we’ve rounded up five straightforward steps to guide to parallel parking as a beginner.
The ABCs of parallel parking
In a nutshell, parallel parking involves parking your car in a way that it faces the direction of traffic on a side of the road, and it is in line with other cars parked on that specific side. Sounds difficult, right? Well, you can make it more approachable with the following steps.
Signaling and correct positioning
Before thinking of positioning your car, it is important to find a suitable spot. Don’t just parallel park in every spot you see. Instead, opt-in for a spot with over 1.5 times your car’s length. Then, you now position your car. Firstly, you need to slowly steer your vehicle to lie parallel to the one parked in front of your potential spot. Maintain a 2 to 3 feet distance between your car and the car. Always check your mirrors to see if anyone is following you, so you can signal accordingly. Then, you can move on to the second step.
Reverse your car to the turning position
Slow and steady is your best bet here. Before reversing, be sure to observe approaching vehicles and assess whether or not can you reverse before they catch up. If you can, be patient until they leave. Once nothing is holding you back, you can begin the reverse exercise.
On assuming the correct position, turn your wheel to the left and back it up slowly. Avoid on-spot steering – this can take a toll on your tires. Keep reversing until your passenger’s side of the vehicle at your back aligns with your car’s center. Then, you can start thinking of straightening.
Straighten your steering
Always strive to align your car between the centers of the two others. This gives them and yourself enough room to exit those spaces. As you make your first left turn, target 45 degrees and keep reversing slowly as you steer your wheels to the right to straighten it. Do this at an almost crawling pace.
Steer to the right
As you keep approaching the curb in reverse, pay close attention to your left door mirror. As its edge aligns with the middle of the car parked, steer your wheels to the right in a complete circle. Keep reversing as you pay attention to those spaces.
Straighten your wheels again
By now, you should have successfully entered the space. Then, you just need to steer your wheels in a full circle towards the left and straighten accordingly.
In situations where you’re too close to the curb, an expert driving instructor recommends that you put your vehicle in first gear, observe your surrounding, and move forward slowly, steering towards the vehicle at your front. Similarly, if perhaps you’re too distant from the curb, reverse your car, observe, steer to the right in a semicircle. As you close in on the distance between your car and the curb, steer it to the right in a full circle for straightening.