How to Parallel Park in 6 Easy Steps with Video
Parallel parking can be challenging for many drivers. If you live in a major city, chances are you see a parallel parking space on every block. Parallel parking is one of those things a driver has to master if they own a car in a big city. While parallel parking is a significant part of the DMV road test, if you live in the suburbs, you could avoid parallel parking altogether. But if you're a new driver and would like to learn how to parallel park or an experienced driver who's a little out of practice, we broke down the process into 6 simple steps.
Step 1. Find the Right Parking Space
The ideal parking space will be a few feet longer than your vehicle to give you room to maneuver. If you don't feel confident that there is enough space for your car, find another parking spot. It's worth parking a little further away to avoid an accident.
Step 2. Turn On Your Blinker
Using your turn signal will let other drivers know that you are trying to park. It also indicates that the open spot you are pulling up to is also where you intend to park. Drivers behind you will recognize this action and either wait for you to finish parking or proceed around you.
Step 3. Line It Up
You will need to align your car with the vehicle parked in front of the space (your target parallel parking spot). This will be your reference point; the back of the vehicle should be parallel with the back bumper of the car in front of the open space.
Step 4. Turn Your Steering Wheel to the Right
Once your car is aligned, turn your steering wheel all the way to the right (If parking on the right side of the street). Before moving, be sure to check your blind spots and car mirrors for any pedestrians or other cars. Finally, put your car in reverse and slowly let off the brake, the car will begin to move back slowly. While this is happening, begin turning the wheel, until the car is at a 45-degree angle, your side view mirror should align with the rear bumper or rear tire of the car in front of you.
Step 5. Turn Your Steering Wheel to the Left
Continue reversing into the spot while slowly turning the steering wheel to the left (or the opposite side of where you started). Once your front wheels line up with the taillights of the car in front of you, begin straightening your steering wheel. Be sure to leave enough space behind your vehicle, so other drivers can easily fit into that space.
Step 6. Final Adjustments
You may need to adjust your car forward or backward a little to make sure you are in the center of your spot and that everyone has enough room to get out. Then put your vehicle into park, and carry on with your day!
Additional Parallel Parking Tips
Be sure to measure the distance from the curb. Parking too far from the curb can leave your car exposed to hit-and-run damage, particularly in neighborhoods with narrow streets.
Always check rear view mirrors to watch out for pedestrians or other drivers.
When parking on the left side of the street, angle your side-view mirrors to get a sense of your distance from the curb.
Always signal when leaving or entering a parking spot.
When using a bigger automobile as a reference point, align your rear with the rear bumper of the car in front. This ensures you have enough room to maneuver when reversing.
You may find that backing into a parking spot is easier if the environment is quiet. Lower the radio to get some added focus.
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