Start by finding a parking space that’s big enough for your vehicle. It’s best to choose one roughly two feet longer than your car. Pull up alongside the vehicle in front of the empty spot and signal to let other drivers know what you’re doing. Once your front bumper is even with the back of that vehicle, begin reversing.

Look Behind You

Parallel parking is one of the most intimidating maneuvers for new drivers of a student driving school in Independence, Kentucky. But with the right knowledge and plenty of practice, it can become second nature. As you approach the space, look behind you to see if vehicles are parked on either side of you. Leave about a meter of space between your car and the vehicle in front of you, and make sure that there’s room for both cars to pull out without hitting each other. Once your front bumper is in line with the vehicle’s rear bumper ahead of you, put your car into reverse and slowly back up. Keep looking over your shoulder and through your mirrors to assess the situation, making adjustments as necessary. You should eventually be in the center of the parking space.

Keep Your Eye on the Road

The key to parallel parking is to be aware of your surroundings. You should check your rearview mirror and side-view mirrors often to gauge the available space and keep an eye on the road ahead. If you find yourself getting too close to the cars in front or behind you, or if your area needs to be bigger, it’s best to start over. This is better than forcing your vehicle into a position that could lead to a costly collision. When you’re finished with your parallel parking, put your car back into drive and slightly shift toward the curb to center your vehicle. This can be a nerve-wracking maneuver for many drivers, but most states require it for their driving tests.

Turn Your Wheel to the Left

Ideally, you want to parallel park in a space large enough to fit your vehicle with a few feet of room for the cars in front and behind it. When you find such a space, identify a clear bumper and slowly reverse until your vehicle has cleared that bumper. Learners should choose an area around 1.5 times the length of their car. Check your mirrors and look over your shoulder to confirm the clear direction, then shift into reverse.

Before you move, put your turn signal on to warn other drivers that you’re about to make a maneuver. Then, start backing into the space, keeping your distance from the parked car by turning your wheel to the left.

Turn Your Wheel to the Right

Once you’ve chosen your space, check for enough room to complete the maneuver safely. If there isn’t, find another spot. Pull up beside the parked car in front of you, ensuring your back bumper clears the rear bumper. Use your mirrors and window view to double-check that no other vehicles are nearby. Turn on your blinker and slowly move backward, checking your progress through your mirrors and over your shoulder. When your front right wheel is even with the back of the parked vehicle behind you, turn your steering wheel to the right and begin backing up into your designated parking space. Remember to put your car in drive and activate your signal once you’re finished.

Pull Forward

To pull out of a parallel parking spot, slowly begin to move forward while watching your progress in your mirrors. You’re done when you can line up your back bumper with the car in front of you. Don’t keep going throughout your practice, even if you miss a few steps. Misalignment is a common issue in parallel parking, and the best thing to do is start over. Identify a space big enough for your vehicle and practice in quiet areas with few cars. Once you’re comfortable, move on to busier streets. Feel free to ask for help from friends or family members who have experienced parallel parking, too. They can provide valuable insight into the maneuver and help you feel more confident on your road test.