I hate to perpetuate the infuriating stereotype of "bad female drivers", but I'll admit that I've had trouble with parallel parking in the past. However, I am not alone. In the past 2 weeks I have witnessed over a dozen bad/failed attempts at parallel parking. It may not seem like parallel parking is a big deal. I know many people don't have to deal with it regularly. But, since I live in a metropolitan area and don't drive one of these fancy self-parking Lexuses, knowing how to parallel park on the curb is a must. So, there are some tips below the jump on perfecting that tricky S-turn next to a curb. Check out this how-to video, as well. Practice makes perfect!
- Find a space that's a few feet bigger than your car.
- Use your signal and line up your car parallel to the parked car directly in front of your chosen spot without getting too close.
- Put your vehicle in reverse. Make sure all is clear on the driver's side. Look over your other shoulder at the space and then turn the steering wheel hard right, which is the starting position for the S-turn.
- Release the brakes and very slowly back into the turn. Keep an eye on the cars around you. Don't run over the curb!
- When the back of the car is in the space, turn the steering wheel to the left to complete the S-turn and straighten your car out in the space. Back up some more, but leave ample space between your car and the car behind you.
- Put the car into drive and turn the steering wheel to the right again. Slowly move forward and toward the curb while centering your vehicle in the space.
- Remember to take it slow. Watch traffic and your position next to other cars carefully. It may take a few frustrating attempts, but eventually you'll develop an internal parallel parking gauge and will be a master. If you have any tips, please share them. Good luck!