Learn How to Parallel Park and Pass Your Driving Test Now!
Learning How to Parallel Park and Pass a Driving Test -- the Good, the Bad and the Ugly!
Teaching someone how to drive, including parallel parking, can be a bonding experience or make you crazy. For my son and I, it was a little bit of both. Here's a bit of what we learned from the experience, with a bit of driver's license humor tossed in.
Learning to drive can be stressful both for student and teacher (especially parallel parking), so I wanted to include the lighter-side of the topic.
To frustrated student drivers, you can learn to parallel park. Be patient with yourself and keep trying, but remember to make adjustments so you aren't trying exactly the same method that just failed. If you really aren't getting it, come back and watch the parallel parking videos below again.
Must-Watch Videos for Learning to Parallel Park - A LOOK at How to Parallel Park
I watched a pile of videos on YouTube about how to parallel park, but these three were the best. They all teach essentially the same method, but have slightly different phrasing. I felt they reinforced each other nicely.
Mom and Kid -- Parallel Parking Lesson
Let's Learn How to Parallel Park, Dear
So after we watched the How-to-Parallel-Park videos on YouTube, I took my son Sam over to the school which has a nicely defined curb in front of it and little traffic. He pulled the car up and I placed cones well outside (maybe 10 feet beyond) the car's corners, the cones were to represent the cars he would be parking between.
Since the cones were tiny, we needed the one which represented the street side of the car he was parking behind to be taller. So I stood there. Mom pretends to be a car... how my career as an actress begins... not really. At least it was a gorgeous fall day and I could admire the red and orange trees against a blue sky, while my son drove around the bus circle and the parking lot to approach our practice area. Basically, he practiced what they taught on the videos. It took a number of tries to get one success, a lot more tries to get the next success.
At times his frustration was visible, but his driving test was 3 days away, so we perservered. For me that meant standing there, smile on my face, not thinking about the million tasks at home waiting for me. Around the bus circle, around the parking lot.
"Sam, you MIGHT want to go just a little bit slower." I suggest and smile sweetly.
His look says it all.
He gets to the point where he is successful slightly more often than not. Time to go home and take a break (from the task and each other) and then we are going to go into the town to see if Sam can parallel park between real cars.
Surprise! Sam finds it easier to parallel park with real cars, says that there are a lot more visual clues. We practice for about 20 minutes and head home, thrilled with our progress.
What's the Funniest T-Shirt about Driving - Take a break from learning how to parallel park
So take a break from learning how to parallel park and tell us which of the following T-Shirts you think is the funniest? Click the t-shirt image if you want to see purchasing info.
Someone asked where you can buy these shirts. Just click on the shirt you like and it should open a new window with purchasing information!
So Which Driving/Driver's License shirt do YOU think is funniest?
The Driving Test -- Parallel Parking and Other Perils!
About 3 days later, Sam and I go for his driving test. He said that the first intersection he pulled up to, the tester told him he should have been further to the right. I'm not quite sure I understand this, since there was not room for a second car to his left (he was turning right). The quick criticism unnerves Sam a bit, but he continues on.
Second intersection, the instructor explains that Sam's wheels should not have entered the crosswalk. Apparently even if the crosswalk is empty, you must stop before it. Then if you can't see the intersection, you slowly move up to where you can actually see the intersection. Hmm... we're not doing too well.
Now, the parallel park. Sam takes a deep breath and executes a near perfect parallel park. No sooner has he breathed his sigh of relief than the instructor tells him that he did not check his mirrors throughout the parking. That he only checked them before putting the car into reverse and that he must continue to check them. Starting to feel doomed to failure, Sam's driving gets worse and the criticism continues.
He failed. Ouch.
We talked quite a bit about whether to try to take the test at another location, how long to wait, why the tester was so critical, etc. About a month later, I take a now, extremely-nervous kid up for a retest to the same location. BUT.... he gets a different tester. Yippee!!! And he passes no problem, despite feeling that his driving was not really significantly different.
My advice to new drivers is to prepare the best you can, but realize that if you don't pass, you can try again and that how well you are driving is somewhat a matter of personal opinion. And to parents... remember when your biggest worry was whether you'd ever get them out of diapers??
Good luck in your travels!
What's Your Opinion About Parallel Parking
Given that you can choose to never parallel park -- by using parking garages, parking lots or simply staying out of the city...
Should parallel parking be a required portion of all driving tests?
To the mountains in 1972 Chevy Corvette Stingray Convertible Roadster
OR.... Just to school and back? Or.....
tell us your thoughts
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