Learning how to park a car is an essential part of learning how to drive. Of the three main types of parking---perpendicular (or 90 degree), angled and parallel---angled parking is the least difficult in terms of maneuvering. Doing it well means there is an equal distance of space around your car within the marked parking space, the front bumper doesn't cross over the front-end of the spot, and the back bumper doesn't hang out past the ends of the two parallel lines.
Drive slowly (inching along while keeping your foot over the brake) as you approach the angled spot. Position the rolling car at least 5 to 6 feet out from the parking space. Signal to indicate that you'll be turning.
Continue to inch along---wheels straight---until the front bumper of the car reaches the middle of the space you're parking in. At that point, brake lightly---not fully---to slow the car while you turn the wheel to enter the spot. About a half turn of the steering wheel should direct the car into the center of the spot---but some cars have looser or tighter steering. Aim to place your left front wheel in the center of the space as you enter it.
Straighten the car wheels out as the car's hood very slowly passes over the middle of the parking spot.
Come to a full stop once the front bumper reaches the front-end of the spot. Make sure the car's wheels are fully straight so that backing out will be as easy as entering. Put the car in park.
Tips & Warnings
- When aiming to park to the left of an aisle of parking spots, drive further to the right to allow a wider turn angle. When aiming to park on the right side of the aisle, stay further to the left as you approach the space.
- Unless specified by street signage, angled parking is always nose-in, meaning you must back out to exit and should not pull through to the opposite space.
- When angle parking in a lot or on a busy street, watch for cars getting ready to back out of their spaces. If you decide to take a spot that's being vacated, don't brake suddenly without looking in the rear view mirror first. Wait for the spot by signaling for it with your turn signal and make sure to give the driver backing out enough space to do so. If you must back up to accommodate the exiting car, do so carefully and check all mirrors and blind spots for other cars and pedestrians.
- Photo Credit park image by cem orter from Fotolia.com
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