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The size of the vehicle and its distance from the curb will vary and affect how you parallel park - watch the video!

The Variables that Affect How You Parallel Park | Road Test Smart


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Hi there smart drivers Rick with Smart Drive Test talking to you today about the variables of parallel parking. Now when you're looking at this video, make sure that you look at the other two videos first on parallel parking.

The first was on the theory of parallel parking and the other one is parallel parking between two vehicles and I'll put cards up here for you in the corner on those two videos.

This one is on the variables - the things that can change and you need to consider while you're parallel parking for the purposes of that exercise in preparation for your road test. So that's what we're going to do today, we're going to go to the cars and show you the variables that you need to consider in preparation for parallel parking.

Stick around, we'll be right back with that information. [OPENING CREDITS & MUSIC]

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Hi there smart drivers, Rick with Smart Drive Test clarifying a couple of points about parallel parking. I had comments from Dan Clow. He was teaching his son how to drive and they were having a little trouble with how far to get the vehicle in.

One of the variables that you need to consider as you're pulling up to the vehicle to which you're going to park behind is how far that vehicle is from the curb. You can see that this vehicle here behind me is very close to the curb.

Narrow Vehicles or Close to the Curb

So there's a couple of things to do:

1) first you don't go down the hood as far. So you probably go down to where the mirror is lining up with the taillight on the outside of that vehicle;

2) or you can do less of a 45° degree angle.

So somewhere between 38° and 40° degrees. If you get the vehicle on less of an angle, it's not going to go into the space as deep. So if the vehicle is close, you need to come in less to the space, and you can reduce that 45° degrees to 38° or 40° degrees.

When parking in a tight space, you may have to increase the entry angle to make it into the space.

And that will compensate a little bit for the vehicle being close to the curb. As well if it's a narrow vehicle, like this Toyota Corolla behind me--and I'll take another picture here--you can see this vehicle, as well, it's also a narrow vehicle and you don't need to go as deep into the space.

Now I'll just find another vehicle here for you that's wider and you will have to go deeper into the space before you start to crank the wheel all the way to the left.

Mid-Size Vehicles

Both of these vehicles behind me are average; they're mid-sized vehicles and you can see that they're about 6-9" inches from the curb or approximately ten centimeters from the curb.

So this is going to be average parking. So you're going to go somewhere down to the post on the passenger side of your vehicle when you back into the space. On your 45° angle before you crank the steering wheel all the way to the left.


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A large SUV parked a far distance from the curb for those learning to parallel park.Fat Vehicles & Far From the Curb

Now this vehicle here is one of the biggest vehicles on the roadway! It's a large SUV - it's a Chevy Suburban and its wide, so you're going to have to go deeper into the space. As well, it's farther from the curb.

This vehicle is approximately 12" to 15" inches from the curb, so you're definitely going to have to go a lot deeper into the space if you parallel park off the back of this vehicle.

Because it's so wide and as it's farther from the curve you're probably going to have to go halfway down the hood before you crank the steering wheel all the way to the left to move the vehicle into the space.


Quick review - so narrow vehicles, you're going to have to come into the space less. What you can do is reduce the angle: so 38° to 40° degrees as opposed to 45° degrees. That'll put you less deep into the space.

So as you come up, take note of how close the vehicle is to the curb and how wide it is. If it's a mid-sized vehicle--just going to be average--and you're probably going to line up the mirror with the taillight. If it's a wider vehicle, like the one behind me here, you're gonna have to go deeper into the space.

You probably have to go halfway down the hood, so those are the variables that you need to keep in mind and again go out practice. Lots of practice - start in low traffic areas and then move to higher traffic areas - lots of practice off different types of vehicles.

As well, if you can get into different kinds of vehicles to drive, you're going to get more experience that way as well, and you're going to be better prepared on your road test. Borrow your Uncle's car or your Aunt's-- beg, plead, you know offer to wash the car and clean it out and those types of things.

That way you'll get more experience in driving and learning how to parallel park.

Question for my smart drivers:

Do you have any tips for new drivers learning how to parallel park?

Leave a comment down in the comment section there. All that helps us out.


Thanks very much for watching. I'm Rick with Smart Drive Test. If you like what you see here share, subscribe, leave a comment down in the comment section. As well hit that thumbs up button. Check out all the great information here on the channel.

As well, head over to my website - lots of great information over there and online courses that you can purchase. Check out all the videos here..... Thanks again for watching. Good luck on your road test.

And remember pick the best answer not necessarily the right answer. Have a great day. Bye now!

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