Tips for Parallel Parking Safely

Tips for Parallel Parking Safely

by / Monday, 29 March 2021 / Published in Tips
Overhead view of cars parallel parked on a street.

Whether you’ve just gotten your driver’s license or have been on the road for decades, parallel parking can be one of the most stressful situations drivers encounter. It’s not at all uncommon for people to go out of their way to find another place to park instead of trying to parallel park. Yes, this is a skill the state of Michigan currently requires people to successfully demonstrate in order to get their driver’s license in the first place. But it’s still a difficult maneuver to master. According to a survey by The Zebra published in 2021, 49% of respondents said they are afraid of parallel parking. Two of the most common reasons why they don’t like parallel parking is because they’re afraid of holding up traffic and a fear of hitting another car.

But in many cases, parallel parking isn’t something that’s easy to avoid. And while many newer cars have technology to help make parallel parking easier, this technology isn’t standard yet so it’s important for people to know how to parallel park without relying on technology. So what can people do to parallel park without problems?

Make Sure You Have Enough Space

First and foremost, you’ll want to make sure a space is large enough for your car. If you try parallel parking in a space that’s too small, you’ll very likely end up hitting a parked car, which is an extremely frustrating type of crash to deal with, even if nobody is injured. An ideal space for parallel parking is about one-and-a-half times larger than the length of your car.

Make Sure the Coast is Clear

Before you go any further with parking, you’ll need to be absolutely certain that the coast is clear. Be sure to check your mirrors, but don’t forget to also physically turn to check your blind spots.

Use Your Turn Signal

It’s important to make sure you communicate your intentions with other drivers on the road. Don’t forget to turn on your turn signal before trying to parallel park so that other drivers will know to give you the space you need.

Get Into Position

Making sure your car is in the right position is key to parallel parking successfully. You want to start out lined up with the car parked in front of the space you’re trying to park in, leaving about two to three feet of space between the passenger side of your car and the driver side of the car in front of your spot. When you start reversing into the spot, don’t start turning the wheel until the middle of your car is lined up with the rear bumper of the car in front of your space. Your car should be entering the parking space at approximately a 45-degree angle. Once you’re in the space at that 45-degree angle, you can start straightening out your wheel to position yourself within the space.

Take it Slow

If you try to parallel park too quickly, the more likely it is that you’ll make a mistake that will be difficult to correct. Even though it’s understandable that you don’t want to hold up traffic, taking it slow will help make sure you get into the space safely.

Watch Video Tutorials

Parallel parking is one of those skills that may be easier to understand by seeing it in action. If you need some help with your parallel parking and reading about it doesn’t seem to be making it click for you, check YouTube for some parallel parking tutorials. There are a lot of good tutorials on the internet which may be just what you need.

Contact a Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, you need a car accident lawyer on your side who knows the law and can fight for you to get all the compensation you’re entitled to. At Goodwin & Scieszka, we have decades of experience helping the victims of Michigan car accidents. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.

Image: iStock / bee32

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