The parallel Park manoeuvre is an important and essential driving skill to learn so that you can park on the street without worrying about curbing your alloys or risking damaging your cars tracking by going in forwards and potentially mounting the curb to get into the space.
Most spaces that you come across especially down side roads that don’t have drive ways are not big enough to drive forward into a and therefore your only option is to reverse in. At 4front Driving School we want our students to develop a technique that works for them, that they can adapt with confidence and use in everyday life situations.
Parallel Parking The parallel park manoeuvre requires you to pull alongside the chosen vehicle you intend to park behind with your left indicator on (if it is on the left) giving your self enough clearance so that you don’t come in contact with the vehicle (about half a car door width away). On approach use your MSPSL technique. Try to line up your left door mirror with the front end of the target vehicle.
mirror, signal, position, speed, look
Having checked using all around observations that it is safe to continue the manoeuvre you gradually reverse until your rear wheels are level with the back of the vehicle that you have pulled up beside. To achieve this you usually line up the bottom corner of the rear passenger window with the target car.
At this point start reversing back with just the bite point, your right foot should hover over the brake pedal, as you start to move keep the car at no more than 2mph and begin to apply a full lock to the left until your car is diagonal to the kerb at about a 40-45 degree angle. Observe around you again and respond to any situation you may face. Tell the examiner if you see anything that you may need to respond to and how you plan to deal with it. Remember that the examiner can’t mind read so telling them that you are aware of an approaching vehicle or pedestrian is important as it will go in your favour.
Now straighten up your steering by turning one and a half turns to the right whilst reversing slowly back (again about 2 mph) The car will be going back in a straight line at 45 degrees towards the curb. When you are a drain cover width away you need to apply a full lock quickly to the right to swing the front of the car in. Look in your left mirror to see if you have judged this right and how close you are to the curb. You are expected to correct any mistakes before they happen eg- if you are going to hit the curb.
When the car is almost straight you will need to turn once again to the left- one and a half revolutions until the car is straight.
Adjustments can be made by reversing back a little further. You are allowed 1 and a half car lengths to adjust your position.
Other drivers will know that if you rush this manoeuvre you will end up taking longer and run the risk of hitting something or someone. Therefore if traffic appears once you have started the manoeuvre you will usually find that they give you priority. If other drivers do pull up behind or in front of you and don’t give you space, use your initiative and explain the situation to the examiner and they will explain if you need to go somewhere else to complete it or if it is just the case being patent and waiting.
An impatient driver will go around you, they wont wait and will even mount the curb if they are in a rush, don’t let this put pressure on you, just make the examiner aware of what you have observed or what you think the other driver might do.
Under no circumstances allow yourself to be hurried when doing this exercise. And like we pointed out earlier – tell the examiner what you see and how you plan to deal with the situations if they arise.