If you believe everything you read, we’ll all be riding in driverless cars soon and knowing how to parallel park will become obsolete. However, unless you have stacks of cash sitting around right now, your teenager probably still needs to put in the time to actually practice and learn how to parallel park.
Many of us have been parallel parking for so long, that getting your car into a space is second nature. Even if you still have to think about how to parallel, describing the steps out loud might be something you’ve never done. If that’s the case, here are 14 steps to parallel park.
- Find a space that looks large enough to fit your car, plus at least three extra feet. New drivers, or those not used to parallel parking, will need more.
- Check your mirrors to make sure there isn’t a vehicle too close behind you.
- Signal toward the space and slow down as you pull up to the front vehicle.
- Line up the back of your car with the back of the vehicle parked in front of your spot. Be sure you are two or three feet to the parallel of the parked car.
- Stop and check your surroundings.
- While stopped, turn your wheel all the way to the right.
- Put your vehicle in reverse. Look over your right shoulder.
- Release the brakes and slowly begin backing into the space.
- Keep your wheel turned all the way to the right as you slowly back up.
- Continue backing in at an angle until your rear tire is about a foot away from the curb. If your tire hits the curb, you’ve gone too far. Shift back into drive and try again.
- Stop the car and turn your steering wheel all the way to left.
- Keep backing up with your wheel turned to the left.
- Stop when you get a few inches from the car behind you
- Pull forward to straighten out. Once you’re in the spot, you can turn the steering wheel so your tires are parallel to the curb.