You’re still on the lookout for a parking space, and after the third trip around the block it’s beginning to feel like a futile search. Then you spy it just ahead – a parked car, left turn signal flashing, starting to inch out of an on-street parking space. You flash the lights to let them know it’s ok to pull out, and then you prepare to strike… and sweat. Really sweat. It’s a spot that requires parallel parking.
Relax! You can do this, even if the last time you parallel parked was during the road test for your driver’s license. Follow a few simple tips and you’ll successfully parallel park your vehicle between two parked vehicles. Here’s how.
1. Choose Your Spot
Choose a parking space you’re comfortable maneuvering into, based on your vehicle size in relation to the parking space, and your parallel parking abilities. Be realistic, even if you’re desperate.
2. Ready the Attack
Use your turn signal to indicate your intention to claim the spot and alert the vehicles behind you. Look in your rearview mirror to ensure there aren’t cars directly behind you. Then forget about them; they’ve been in your position before and can wait for you to finish. No need to add stress by worrying about other drivers at this moment.
3. Visualize the ‘S’
Pull up even with or a few feet behind the bumper of the front car while leaving a two- to three-foot buffer between you and that car. It helps to visualize the maneuver you’re about to execute as an “S.”