Did You Know These 4 Parallel Parking Hacks?
Parallel parking can trip up some of the most experienced drivers out there. Whether you have no idea how to do one and have never tried, or if you know but just haven’t gotten it smooth yet, these tips and hacks might take the complications away.
Pull Ahead and Go Back
Some people don’t succeed at parallel parking because they start it the wrong way. First, you should pull alongside the car in front of the space you’re aiming for and align your axle with that car’s bumper. When you do this, you can turn the wheel hard toward the curb. If properly aligned, you should get a curve that sets your car’s rear deep into the narrow spot while making a C around the bumper of the car in front.
Turn at The Trunk
The main trouble for beginners is finding the right time to start turning into the space while backing up. The best way to get this settled is to use the car in front as a guiding point. First, pull ahead and stop when you’re basically aligned next to the car that’ll be in front of you when you’re done. Start backing up perfectly straight. Then, at the point where you as a driver align with the middle of the trunk area, begin to turn hard into the space.
Depending on the length of your own vehicle and the vehicles involved, this might not always be a viable way to guide yourself. However, it helps you acquaint yourself with your vehicle and how its turn radius behaves. The more you do it, the more you’ll feel in control of the situation.
Watch the Car in Front
Even when you get the beginning step figured out, correcting the front of the vehicle is often the greater challenge. The best tip is as follows: Watch the front as much as the back. You watch the back to ensure you don’t touch the vehicle behind you, of course, but the car in front can guide you once again. As soon as you’ve backed up safely, keep going until your inside rear tire lines up with the street-side edge of the car ahead of you. Straighten the wheel and keep reversing, and you’re nearly there!
If you’re really unsure of when to cut the wheel the opposite way, there’s another point of reference you can use up front. As you’re turning, watch for the point where your car is diagonal, and you (as a driver) are aligned with the rear corner of the vehicle in front. At this point, you can start to turn the wheel, and it should easily correct if you take your time.
Practicing with two other cars and plenty of space is the best way to put these directions and guidelines to practice. Some will make more sense to certain people, so see which logic and rules help you the most and keep getting better. Soon, you’ll be a master at parallel parking who makes it look easy!