My sister always marvels at my ability to parallel park. But being a big city driver I have had a lot of practice. What I still find awkward is the reverse left curb parallel park.
Driving manuals and online instructions usually state to take the format of right curb parallel parking and just reverse the actions. However, the challenge is where do you look? Our instinct is to look over our right shoulder, but in reality you need to look over your left shoulder. Is it just me or do other drivers find this awkward?
I decided to take a look at left-curb parallel parking from the UK, as their left curb is our right curb. And although it is helpful, it isn’t quite right because the steering wheel is on the right not the left hand side of the car.
I called Breanna Carey, driving instructor and class room teacher from Young Drivers of Canada to find out if they teach the left curb parallel parking and what tips she could give me. Breanna reports that yes they do teach left curb parking, but only if the student driver has the skills and confidence and agrees to learning the procedure. “Lots of students decline to learn,” she said. And as I suspected, most people find the left shoulder check a bit awkward, but Breanna advises, “have faith in your driving capabilities, it is the same motion in reverse, just look over your left shoulder and go slow. It is as simple as moving your head in the direction you are going”. She also gave us another great parking tip, “when lining up your car, use markers – a good one is the backseat middle headrest should line up to the rear-view mirror to the car behind you”. Voilà, reverse left curb parallel parking made easy.