TIPS FOR TEACHING YOUR TEEN TO PARK CONFIDENTLY
For new drivers and even experienced drivers parking in different situations can become stressful and difficult. I know that for many, parallel parking is often avoided as it can be a bit more challenging to master. This week I felt it would be beneficial to share some tips and tricks as well as some great resources with you to help you teach your teen to confidently park in any situation!
Angled parking is where the parking spot is at about a 45-degree angle to the lane. This type of parking is common in cities across North America. Use the following steps in assisting your teen:
- Have your teen locate a vacant parking spot and advise them to use the signal to notify surrounding traffic of their intentions.
- Have your teen drive parallel with the curb, and once he/she can see the left side of the vehicle that is parked to the right of the stall, advise them to turn the wheel to the right and proceed.
- Once your teen is about halfway through the parking stall, have them begin to straighten your wheels and drive forward ensuring that the front left and right side of your vehicle are not too close to the vehicles parked on either side.
Parallel parking can be daunting, especially for new drivers but proper instruction and practice can help your teen become confident in their new skill. Use the following steps to aid you in instructing your teen with parallel parking:
- Practice with your teen using “props” such as cones with a PVC pipe or other objects that won’t raise your insurance if your teen accidentally hits them.
- Once you are confident, they have the idea, have your teen look for a spot that is big enough for the vehicle to fit, and ensure they are checking for traffic and pedestrians.
- Instruct your teen to pull up beside the vehicle in front of the spot they are going to be parking in and align the rear tires with the rear bumper of the other vehicle. Have them check for traffic and use the signal to indicate where they are parking.
- Before your teen begins to reverse, have them crank the steering wheel all the way to the right.
- Instruct them to reverse slowly keeping the wheel cranked.
- When the front right wheel is aligned with the rear left corner of the vehicle in front, instruct your teen to crank the steering wheel left and continue to slowly reverse further into the parking space.
- Have them make any necessary adjustments to ensure there is enough room in front of and behind.
Here’s a great video resource from our Coaching New Drivers program on parallel parking, instructed by Mike Pehl, our veteran crash investigator and driving educator! The video gives you a step-by-step process to progressively teach your teen to parallel park. Also make sure to check out Dallas Texas the most complete driving schools list.
For access to the full course which includes more video resources and information on ensuring your teen becomes a confident driver, visit our website and use the code PARKING20 to save 20%!
Some helpful tips include adjusting the mirrors, practicing in larger spots before progressing into tighter spots, and being calm and patient while your teen is learning. Just like any skill, practice will make them better!
Your teen may ask, “Why do I need to reverse into a parking space when I can just drive straight in?” Reversing into a parking space can reduce the risk of getting into an accident. The reason behind this is when leaving the parking spot, your teen will have more visibility. Did you know that 20% of accidents happen in parking lots? (IIHS, 2018). Use the following steps to aid you in practicing the skill with your teen:
- Once your teen has located an empty parking stall, instruct your teen to drive in front of the stall so that the back bumper is partially in front of it.
- Ensure your teen uses the signal to advise other drivers of their intention to enter the parking stall.
- Instruct them to check their surroundings.
- Have your teen begin to reverse slowly and turn the steering wheel to straighten the vehicle out.
- Have your teen continue to reverse and straighten out until the vehicle is fully in the parking stall.
Before having your teen reverse into a parking spot between two vehicles, practice in an empty parking lots until they get the hang of it.
For more information and resources to help your teen become a confident and safe driver, visit our homepage to learn more about the Coaching New Drivers course!