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  • made a fool of myself

    hi guys
    i got my license a while back, have been driving for a few months now(all fine) and for the first time yest i was faced with parallel parking between two cars. i thought i'd be fine, there was just enough space for my car to park and to pull out, but it wasn't like so big as im used to when i was learning.
    anyway i tried to park as my instructor told me, i remembered his instructions but yest it didnt work. i tried about couple of times, had to go out and try again and then because everyone was waiting behind me i left the space and found somewhere else to park.it was really embarassing so i decided later im going to practice this manoeuvre but if anyone got any simple instructions that would be great.
    my instructor when i passed used so many reference points, alot of stopping and then half turns , one turns etc, it worked great for the test as usually the space were quite big and i could take my time but it doesn't work in the real world.
    so yeah any advice? please. i really don't wana make a fool of myself again and im def hoping to practice but need some sort of idea of what to do.please any help??
    thanks so much
    suzy

  • #2
    Do you drive the same car you learnt in? If not, the reference points will be completely different.

    I find it best to pull up next to the car you want to park behind, reverse until the rear of your car is in line with theirs, then continue to reverse slowly, at the same time, put on full 'left-hand down' lock. i.e. turn the wheel anti-clockwise all the way, as your car comes out into the road, wait until it reaches a 45 degree angle to the kerb, straighten your wheels, keep reversing till you see the kerb disappear in your passenger side mirror, then start turning the wheel in the opposite direction to line the car up with the kerb. Once thats over and done with, just reverse/pull forward as necessary, making small steering adjustments to make sure your nice and parallel to the side of the road/path.

    Have a search on youtube for 'parallel parking' videos, there are a couple of decent ones on there.

    good luck!!


    Lewis

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    • #3
      My suggestion is to find a quiet road to practice. Whilst carrying out the manouevres, occasionally get out and have a look at where your car is in relation to the kerb and other cars. This will give you an appreciation of the positioning of your car. It will come with practice.
      **As to making a fool of yourself, haven't we all at some time?**

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      • #4
        I know exactly what you mean, Ive been driving for 35 years and recently we changed from a large long car to a much smaller one. Would you believe it, I find parallel parking difficult with this new one, as I am that used to reversing in a much longer car, and I turn the wheel too late

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        • #5
          When you are taught to drive, you only have to do a parallel park behind one car, not between two. This is the difference. Obviously when there is no car to worry about behind you, can use the single revolution of the steering wheel.

          The difference with having another car close behind you is that you will very likely need to turn the steering wheel more to begin with.

          In my opinion this kind of parallel parking (between two cars with a fairly small gap) should be in the test as we have no idea how to do it when we pass.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Lew1275 View Post
            Do you drive the same car you learnt in? If not, the reference points will be completely different.

            I find it best to pull up next to the car you want to park behind, reverse until the rear of your car is in line with theirs, then continue to reverse slowly, at the same time, put on full 'left-hand down' lock. i.e. turn the wheel anti-clockwise all the way, as your car comes out into the road, wait until it reaches a 45 degree angle to the kerb, straighten your wheels, keep reversing till you see the kerb disappear in your passenger side mirror, then start turning the wheel in the opposite direction to line the car up with the kerb. Once thats over and done with, just reverse/pull forward as necessary, making small steering adjustments to make sure your nice and parallel to the side of the road/path.

            Have a search on youtube for 'parallel parking' videos, there are a couple of decent ones on there.

            good luck!!


            Lewis

            Excellent advise... As Lewis has said in his post really., its important to find that 45 degree angle that's the key (that's really what the instructors are doing getting you into the correct angle using reference points) I teach very general reference points that can be used on most cars and I teach to a park into a smaller space than test standard.

            Practise, practise and more practise go and find a nice quiet road and practise.

            good luck

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            • #7
              My instructor told me to line my car up so that the passenger door mirror was in line with the front car's B pillar. But like you say, depending on the size of the car, the reference points are different.

              I think a mistake some people can make, and I've made it myself, is to be too close to the front car when you first line up with them, then once you start reversing and turning, you end up too close to their back panels. Easily done and as for making a fool of yourself, don't worry, everyone does, but not everyone has the balls to admit they got something wrong.

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              • #8
                Suzy, been driving for 30 years and I can still only parallel park decently (i.e. without a lot of jiggering about to park reasonably close to kerb) using my mirrors one way. Don't let put you off - it's apparently more common than one thinks and is a brain thing - not an illness, just how one's mind sees things in reverse. I didn't have a problem, despite driving many different cars, with the over the shoulder technique but that's frowned upon. Just keep practising - you'll get better and don't worry about the embarrassment - there is not a driver on this planet who hasn't made mistakes (note - plural)!

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by 98selitb View Post
                  When you are taught to drive, you only have to do a parallel park behind one car, not between two. This is the difference. Obviously when there is no car to worry about behind you, can use the single revolution of the steering wheel.



                  In my opinion this kind of parallel parking (between two cars with a fairly small gap) should be in the test as we have no idea how to do it when we pass.
                  Sorry 98selitb, what you say is in fact not true, if the examiner finds a couple of cars parked two car lengths apart, they can ask the candidate to reverse park between them. This has always been an option since the parallel reverse parking excercise was introduced. The reason that it is rarely done, is that they cannot guarantee that they will find suitably parked cars to carry out the exercise.
                  I wonder why your Instructor didn't let you practice this?
                  roadhog.
                  Last edited by roadhog; 08-04-09, 22:42.

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                  • #10
                    Its well worth spending more time and practising all reversing manoeuvres, including the 3 point turn and reverse parking. Like every other driving skill you wil always improve with practise, as well as building up your confidence, and that is also a good theing
                    Cheers, Smudger.

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                    • #11
                      You have not nade a fool of yourself, you gave up when the presure got too much, thats fine, making a fool would of been to carry on and make a mistake.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by seranoz
                        My suggestion is to find a quiet road to practice. Whilst carrying out the manouevres, occasionally get out and have a look at where your car is in relation to the kerb and other cars. This will give you an appreciation of the positioning of your car. It will come with practice.
                        The OP has got 10 more years of experience since writing that post, so I'm sure she can park OK now.

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                        • #13
                          If you look carefully, the 'quoted' post by seranoz has got a crafty spam link embedded into it. Reported.

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