How to Park Safely in a Small Space

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Parking safely in a small space can be a nightmare. We've all been forced to do it. But when it comes to cramming your car between two others, it can be quite uncomfortable. Here are some tips on how to park safely in a small space next time you need to.

Pulling straight in

  • Identify the spot where you want to park your car. You'll see that it is small. Make a judgment call on whether you can fit inside it.

  • Place your appropriate turn signal on. Depending which direction you are heading, this will be your left or right turn signal.

  • Pull past the space you wish to park in and behind the car in the space next to it.

  • Check all mirrors and turn around to make sure there are no other cars or pedestrians behind you. If you wish, put your flashers on and honk for unsuspecting people to take notice.

  • Back your car up while turning your wheel in the opposite direction. You'll notice that as you pull backwards, your car is aligning with the space in front of you. Stop when your car is perfectly straight with the space.

  • Adjust the wheel so that it is straight and pull into the space. You may have to turn the wheel slightly if you were unable to align the car completely straight. Continue to check your mirrors and side of each car to make sure you'll have enough room to open your door and get out.

Parallel parking in a small space

  • Signal with your right directional to show that you will be attempting to park. You may also honk your horn gently to alert those who are not paying attention.

  • Pull in front of the space so that you align with the car in front of the desired space. Align your front bumper with the other car's side mirror.

  • Check your mirrors and look behind you before you begin to back up your car.

  • Place your car in reverse and slowly start to back-up.

  • Turn your wheel clockwise so that your tires start to rotate toward the curb. Watch the front and back of your car to make sure the angle at which you are parking will allow you to complete the move without bumping the cars in front or behind you.

  • Put your car in drive and pull forward as you turn your wheel counter-clockwise. When finished, place your car in park. You have now safely parked in a small space.

Tips & Warnings

  • If someone is riding with you, have them get out of the car and be an extra set of eyes for you. It'll make it much easier to park.
  • Look for another space. Some spots are just too tight. Don't hesitate to drive your car around the block looking for another space. You may have to walk a little more, but at least you won't have the stress of parking in such a tight spot.
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