Right Parallel Parking Made Easy

Cars parked in a street

Recently, I came across a good short video on how to parallel park. It seems like reverse parallel parking is one of those dreaded driving skills that many people do not like to practice. Like anything, practice makes perfect.

One of the key factors to successful parallel parking is to know your vehicle and to understand how the turning of your steering wheel will turn your car. Every driving instructor will tell you to find a spot that is 1.6 times longer than your vehicle. But in big cities where parking is for smart cars only, this is not always feasible.

A few tips to remember will make right reverse parallel parking easier:

  1. Always do safety checks during the maneuver.
  2. Take your time, and don’t be distracted and feel the need to hurry.
  3. Reverse your car so your back tire is aligned with the front car back tire. Turn your wheel all the way to the curb and slowly back in.
  4. Once your rear passenger door is aligned with the rear bumper then start to turn the steering wheel the other way (or at about a 45* angle).
  5. Try to aim to park close to the curb without hitting it and no more than 12 inches away from the curb. You can do this by moving forward and backward to align it just right.
  6. If you are parked on a flat road, straighten out your wheels. If you are on a downward hill, turn your wheels into the curb, and if you are on an upward hill or slope turn your wheels out.

It is an interesting fact that when you take a driving test with ICBC they will only request for you to prove you can reverse parallel park on the right hand side of the street. But in big cities with numerous one-way streets, it is essential for any driver to know how to parallel park on the left hand side of the street. A task I personally find more difficult. Tune in to the Driving Blog next week to learn more about Reverse Left Parallel parking.

Tell us your tip on the best way to learn how to parallel park.

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