You’re a licensed driver. You know the basics when it comes to the rules of the road. So why do your palms start to sweat when you are faced with a parallel parking situation, or a tight squeeze in a grocery store parking spot?
Most of the time, it has to do with that feeling of being pressured, watched and rushed. But there are ways to efficiently and safely park your car, and for that we look to the pros at Valet Connections DTW parking who park cars for a living. Here’s how to master the art of parking on the fly under tight time constraints.
Parking is truly an art form, especially in a busy airport setting where customers and cars have to be shuttled around on a dime – and fast. Being able to park quickly means knowing the vehicle and becoming aware of the space it takes up.
First, you’ll need to become a good sense of spatial awareness and familiarity with your car. Here are tips to accomplish that.
Give yourself plenty of room
The more room that’s available to park in, the faster the task will be. While you cannot control how close the cars are to you, or what other obstructions may be present, you should always be on the lookout for ways you can maximize the area for the best maneuvering power. With perpendicular parking (cars are parked side to side), don’t approach from the near lane; rather, approach from the opposite lane for proper aim and turn radius.
Use reference points
Timing is the name of the game with many types of parking, especially when it comes to parallel parking. Often, another driver is waiting behind you to make their move. When parallel parking, be aware of the placement of bumpers on the cars you plan to park between, as they relate to your side view and rearview mirrors and windows. This is important when you can’t readily spot parking guidelines on the ground.
Take your time
It’s easy to feel pressured by other drivers around you, but force yourself to slow down and assess all conditions and angles before you start the parking process. When you approach your parking spot in reverse, your car should be at a 45-degree angle along the curb before you start straightening out and backing in.
Practice make perfect
The old saying is true. If you don’t practice something, you’ll never get better at it. You may feel weird going out to practice parking, but you’ll soon get the hang of it and be proud of your achievement.
Let’s Talk Parallel Parking
This is the part that strikes fear into many a driver, and for good reason. This can be a tricky maneuver, especially in busy parking lots or streets where space is tight. But if you keep these tips in mind, you can perfect the art of parallel parking.
If there’s one thing to know, it’s not to speed through the learning process. You may think all eyes are on you when attempting a parallel parking job, but try to go at a relaxed pace so you can get your angles down pat. Just take a pause to regroup and don’t panic.
Many beginners choose a spot that’s too small for their car. You’re only asking for failure if you do this. Instead, choose a spot that’s 1 1/2 times bigger than your vehicle.
Line up your car adjacent to the car parked in front of the spot you want. Take care not to hit the car, and look all around your vehicle. Your turn signal is there for a reason, so let other drivers know you’re parking. Leave about 2 to 3 feet of space between the parked car and your car. If you feel pressured because cars are waiting to pass you, signal them to go around you.
This is the tricky part and it’s where most people slip up. When adjacent to the parked car, turn your wheel as far as you can to the right. Keep your car at a stop while turning the wheel. Any motion at this point will disrupt the process.
Now that you have backed your car to the curb, turn the wheel to the left as far as you can, checking all mirrors constantly and straightening your vehicle as you ease into the parking spot. Again, we can’t stress enough the importance of going slow. This will help you avoid scraping your rims against the curb.
This is good advice for a reason. The more you practice, the better you will get at parallel parking, and the faster you’ll be able to do it. Don’t avoid parallel parking at all costs. Instead, embrace each opportunity for practice. You will never get better if you don’t practice. You can even practice at home in your own neighborhood. Ask your teenage driver who just got their license for more tips – they’ve been through driver’s ed recently and the information is fresh for them!
Just remember, it gets easier each time you do it.
Now that you know all these tips, it’s good to still realize that when heading to the airport, you should still let the pros handle your parking job because that’s what they’re trained to do!
Contact Valet Connections DTW Parking
The pros at Valet Connections DTW Parking know how to park vehicles quickly as well as safely because they do it all the time. We get you in and out quickly so you can get on with your travel plans. Schedule affordable service when you call us at (734) 992-4946.