By Sean W.
Practicing with a certified driving instructor is undeniably a smart thing to do prior to the road test. That said, doing that alone will not give you enough experience for everyday driving. The reason is because many instructors focus on the skills you’ll need to pass the test – which are good to know but will not be enough on their own for road safety.
One excellent example of this is the parallel park maneuver. You will be almost guaranteed to spend hours practicing this, which you should, as a parallel park is something everyone does during the evaluation. However, in terms of actual practicality regarding long term driving, this is a skill that you will use infrequently (unless you live or work somewhere that makes it completely necessary). Most people will find somewhere easier to park and avoid the maneuver all together.
Additionally, I can safely say that finding a collision involving a parallel park that led to serious damage, injury or death, would be a grueling, if not, impossible task. It may be a technique that’s simple to test but knowing how to parallel park will never be a life and death scenario. Extra time behind the wheel would be better spent practicing things that could lead to a serious collision, like driving in different weather conditions or training yourself to recognize what you can’t see and therefore don’t know. Skills like these can make a huge difference in your life, whereas perfecting the parallel park will, in the best case scenario, maybe prevent minor scrapes and affect some insurance.