If there is one car manoeuvre that scares many drivers, it is the famous parallel parking lot. Requiring precision, coordination and a certain technique, it gives buttons to many motorists. However, if we follow the recipe, everything should go well.
Indicate your intention
Once you have identified a free space that is large enough to accommodate your vehicle, it is essential to let other motorists know that you intend to park using the turn signal. To get started, position your vehicle parallel to the vehicle in front – let’s call it Vehicle A to make it lighter.
To make sure you are at the same height as him, you can guide yourself with the mirrors. If your passenger mirror is located at the same level as the driver’s mirror on the driver’s side of vehicle A, everything is covered in oil.
Back in a straight line
Before backing up, make sure that the front wheels of your vehicle are straight. Now you can finally step back.
In addition, the SAAQ authorizes drivers to unbuckle their seat belts in order to facilitate the body’s rearward pivot when performing the recoil manoeuvre. Because when you step back, it is imperative to look where you are going. It’s not enough to take a look in the mirrors.
Turn your wheels at the right time
When the front wheels of your vehicle reach the height of the rear wheels of vehicle A, turn your steering wheel clockwise. Turn your wheels to the maximum. Continue to back up until the front corner of the passenger side of the vehicle behind you – let’s call it Vehicle B – is in the centre of your rear window.
Turn your wheels to the other side
Now it’s time to turn the wheels of your vehicle to the other side. You will therefore turn counter clockwise. Continue to back away quietly. Make sure you are not too close to vehicles A and B. Feel free to move forward, just to be well cantered. If you have followed each of the steps, you should now be parked.
Do not be too far from the curb
Your vehicle cannot be parked more than 30 centimetres from the curb. This is what the Highway Safety Code stipulates. If this were the case, a ticket could be waiting for you on your windshield when you return to the vehicle.
On the other hand, if you glue the curb, you could climb your wheels.
Make sure your vehicle will not move again
In addition, once the parking is complete, the parking brake must be engaged. If you are on a slope, orient your wheels so that the vehicle is immobilized by the curb if it accidentally moves forward.
Technology at your service
Although it requires some adaptation, the rear-view camera can be a great help in performing this type of manoeuvre. It often allows you to sneak into smaller spaces.
Practice, the only real secret
You have probably already heard the proverb that says that it is by forging that you become a blacksmith. Well, it’s by practicing parking in parallel that you become… good for parking in parallel! Feel free to take the time you need to practice. To reduce the level of stress, it is obviously advisable to practice on a quiet street.
Also, for a novice driver, it is recommended to turn the steering wheel when the vehicle is stationary. This will help you feel less unstable and more in control.