1. Parallel Parking

parallel parking diagram

Parallel Parking

Objectives: You should be able to identify a safe and legal place to carry out the parallel park. And beable to park reasonably close to and parallel to the kerb by reversing into a space of not more than two car lengths. The maneuver should be completed under control, with due regard for the safety of other road users.

Make sure its safe and legal
Avoid blocking driveways, parking too close to a junction or on double yellow lines. There’s more, so check the highway code.

Initial approach
Apply the MSPSL (Mirror-Signal-Position-Speed-Look) routine. Remember if there is a car behind you, slow down gradually so you don’t surprise them and signal your intention to pull in.

Start Position
You should be roughly an open car door away from the parked car and your boot should look level with their boot. Look at diagram for more info.

The routine, using focal points
There are many techniques used by Driving Instructors to help you carry out this maneuver. Your instructor will be able to give you some good tips and reference points on the car so you will easily be able to do the parallel park with ease. (we promise)

Turn Left when the back of your car is in line with the back of the car you are reversing behind.
Turn Right when you are roughly at a 45-degree angle
Reverse back for a short time until the kerb disappears in your left door mirror. Now turn Right again.
The front end of the car will begin to swing in, once it looks parallel or directly behind the car in front of you. Then straighten the wheels by turning Left to finish. Your instructor may adjust the focal points slightly depending on the car you are learning in.

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