Teaching your teen to parallel park

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Mar 20 2014 / By DriveitHOME

Teaching your teen to parallel park

Are you teaching your teen to drive but not quite sure where to begin? DriveitHOME can help! We’ve developed practice tips and lessons for each week of the year so your teen’s learning process can be as smooth as possible. The lessons are a simple click away and, just like that, you’re on track to teaching your teen to drive – the right way.

Today’s lessons are Nos. 27 and 44 – Parallel Parking and Parking Etiquette.

Parallel Parking

Parallel parking can be a bit of a challenge until your teen gets the hang of it.

Remember to practice in a safe place with cones first before you have your teen try it out for real. Here are some tips to tell your teen:

  • Use your turn signal to indicate you’re parking. A space that’s six feet longer than your car should make it easier to park.
  • Check traffic
  • Pull up beside the car in front of the space where you intend to park (about 2 feet away from it)
  • Check traffic and shift into reverse. Look over your shoulder and turn the steering wheel sharply to the right as you back up – at about the time the front of your car passes the rear bumper of the car you’re parking behind.
  • Continue backing up slowly into the space while checking your mirrors
  • Once you get your car halfway into the space, turn the wheel away from the curb
  • Continue turning the wheel as you back up into the space
  • Make sure you don’t clip the car behind you. A safe distance of one foot from the curb is ideal
  • Straighten out the wheel and pull forward or back in the space to center your car

Parking Etiquette

After the permit stage, your teen likely has basic parking skills. Now is a great time to ride along as your teen parks, and remind him or her of the following:

  • Suggest your teen park in less busy areas of the parking lot when he or she is just developing skills
  • Watch street signs when parking. If unsure, don’t park there.
  • Don’t let others talk your teen into parking in an area because “no one ever gets a ticket there,” despite signs that say otherwise
  • When pulling into a spot, make sure there is enough room for the driver or passengers to get out! A parking spot is no good if you can’t exit the car.
  • Make a note of where the car is parked. It’s easy to lose a car in a big parking lots. Snap a picture of a landmark nearby as a reminder.
  • Always try to park in a well-lit area with people around. It will keep your car and teen safer.
  • When leaving the car parked, don’t leave packages or anything valuable in plain sight
  • Keep others in mind when you park. Don’t make it impossible for someone parking near you to get out of their spot or into their car.
  • Teach your teen to look around and be aware of his or her surroundings when leaving the space

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