5 Parallel Parking Tips
It’s one of the most dreaded parts of the driving test and can be one of the biggest obstacles between a 16-year-old and their driver’s license - parallel parking. Whether you’re parking in downtown Tyler or downtown Dallas, there are many places where drivers must parallel park.
Here are 5 tips to keep in mind when parallel parking.
Keep the Basics in Mind
Many driving handbooks and courses teach the same parallel parking procedure, making an “S-turn.”
- Find a spot and position your vehicle parallel with the vehicle in front of the space you’re pulling into
- Turn the steering wheel all the way to the right (your tires should point towards the car on your right) and slowly back up
- When you see the right corner of the vehicle behind you, turn the steering wheel all the way to the left and continue to back up into the space
This procedure taught at the DMV and in driving schools is very effective, but you must follow the directions accurately. Here are the exact, detailed directions to help you become a parallel parking pro.
Turn the Wheel All the Way to the Right
The directions say to turn your wheel all the way to the right, then all the way to the left. You must turn the wheel as far as you possibly can in order to successfully maneuver your car into the parking spot.
It’s also important to turn your wheel without backing up. When you’re parallel with the vehicle in front of the parking spot, keep your foot on the brake and turn the steering wheel completely to the right. Do the same when turning the wheel to the left.
Look in Your Rearview Mirror
With your wheel turned all the way to the right, slowly back up into the space while looking over your right shoulder, making sure there aren’t any obstacles. Do not move the steering wheel; keep it completely turned to the right.
Look into your rear view mirror and watch for the vehicle behind you. Once the right headlight of the vehicle behind you reaches the center of your rear-view mirror, stop your vehicle.
Turn the Wheel Back to the Middle Position
With your foot on the brake, turn the steering wheel back to the middle position, as if you’re driving in a straight line.
Slowly release the brakes and keep your eye on the vehicle in front of the parking spot. Once your vehicle just clears the front vehicle’s bumper, stop.
Turn the Wheel All the Way to the Left
While keeping your foot on the brake, turn the steering wheel completely to the left. Slowly release the brakes to continue to back up into the parking spot, without moving the steering wheel from its left position.
Once your vehicle is parallel to the sidewalk, stop. With your foot on the brake, turn the steering wheel back to the middle position and put your vehicle in park.
Parallel parking can be a daunting task for even the most experienced driver. If you don’t feel comfortable pulling into a small parking spot, look for another place to park. Remember to keep these directions in mind and to turn the steering wheel only when your vehicle is stopped.
If you’ve been injured in a car accident while parking or in any other situation, contact the Colley & Colley law firm in Tyler, Texas for a free consultation. We’re dedicated to providing you with the best legal counsel in East Texas.