How to Drive a Car | Practicing Perpendicular Parking
As you learn how to drive a car you will know that perpendicular parking is the kind of parking you’ll do most often. Add it to your learn to drive checklist. Learning to park is important plus it helps you perfect your maneuvering skills and backing up skills. As you develop more experience in driving a car you will be able to park your car on the first try. However like most things it takes some practice. Practice in an empty lot and not where other drivers are waiting for you.
When you park your car in a defined parking space it’s important to stay within the painted lines with an equal amount of space on both sides of the car. This way you and your passenger can get in and out of the vehicle easily. It will also help protect your car from the car doors of the vehicles parked on either side of you. There will be times as you learn to drive that you will encounter situations where either you or someone else has parked so close you can't open the car door wide enough to get out. You will realize fully at that point why you must learn to position the car properly.
Another aspect which you will find when driving a car is that you need to be able to judge if the space you are going to park in is wide enough for your car. Being wide enough means the car doors can open without hitting the other cars. Practicing as you learn to drive will help you with this. If the lot has painted parking spaces check the distance the cars on either side of the space are from the lines. Most parking spots provide from 12 to 18 inches from the tire to the painted line. If the neigboring cars are very close to the line you know the space will be cramped and you may want to look for another one.
It’s also important to pull fully into the spot so your car doesn’t stick out further than other vehicles. The front bumper should be close to the end line of the space. When you’re finished, you should be perfectly within the painted lines.
As you learn how to drive a car, practice this several times in a parking lot where there are empty spaces on all sides of the car. After each try get out and look at how you are positioned. Make this part of your "Learn to Drive" checklist. Look for more information in the Driving Lessons sections of the Workbook and the Video Library. See Driving Lesson 4.
The video gives you some additional information on learning this skill.