In honor of the release of Dona Sarkar’s first book,
the Buzz Girls are having a “How To” Week. We will take turns sharing with our readers what we hope is interesting "How To" information (and I understand there's going to be a book giveaway later in the week, too).
I'm up first!
Since many states no longer require parallel parking as part of the driving exam, I’ve become aware that many young people today simply don’t know how to parallel park. I, on the other hand, not only had to learn it for the exam, but to survive, as more often than not in the community where I grew up, it was parallel park--or nothing. So, here you have it:
How To Parallel Park
• Find an empty space. Remember you need at least an extra three feet more than your vehicle.
• Make sure you are clear before stopping, and be sure to signal. If a car is behind you, you can wave them past you.
• Line up your vehicle with the parked vehicle directly in front of the spot. Don't get too close on the side, or you might scrape the other car. But you also don't want to be too far away--two or three feet will suffice. Position your vehicle parallel to the parked car, aligning your bumpers or staying two or three feet behind.
• Put your vehicle in reverse. Check the driver-side mirror to make sure the street behind you is clear of traffic before you begin to back up. Look over your other shoulder at the space to assess the gap. Turn the steering wheel hard right.
• Release the brakes and slowly begin backing into the turn. Check in front of and around your car often. Make sure you remain far enough away from the rear bumper of the vehicle in front of you as you slide in. If your rear tire hits the curb, you've gone too far; just shift gears and pull forward a few feet if this happens.
• Turn the steering wheel to the left once the rear of your vehicle is predominantly in the space, still going backward. This is where you snake your way completely into the space and straighten out your car at the same time. Continue in reverse as far back as you can without tapping the bumper of the vehicle behind you.
• Shift into drive and turn the steering wheel to the right again, and move forward gently toward the curb while centering your vehicle in the space.
And you’re in! See--it wasn’t so bad!
So tell me now truthfully, how do you feel about parallel parking? Is it a piece of cake, something you avoid or somewhere in between?
Happy New Year!
What I’m Reading: Wonderful Tonight, Pattie Boyd
How to Hook a Hottie, January 8, 2008
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress, out now
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009