The best way to keep your Calgary car insurance low is to remain claims-free. As many drivers struggle with parking in tight quarters, it pays to review best practices for proper parallel parking and hill parking. Even seemingly minor fender-benders can rack up major damage, which can send your insurance costs skyrocketing. It’s far better to brush up on your skills so you’re confident in all parking situations.
Parallel Parking 101
Parallel parking is something that many drivers struggle with, even experienced motorists who have been behind the wheel for years. However, if you use the right techniques, parallel parking is actually fairly straightforward. All you need to do is build your confidence through practice.
Here is a step-by-step guide to perfect parallel parking:
- Begin by finding a space that offers enough room. Ideally, you’ll want to leave at least one metre in front of your vehicle and one metre behind it. While this isn’t always possible, it’s a mistake to try to cram your car into a very tight space. In such situations, look for an alternative.
- Check posted parking signs before you park. There may be restrictions that could lead to tickets if you’re not careful.
- Move into the initial position. To do this, pull up beside the vehicle in front of the parking space, so that your car is parallel and perfectly aligned with it.
- Slowly reverse, moving straight back, until your side view mirror is roughly beside the parked car’s back wheels.
- Stop, turn your steering wheel all the way to the right, then slowly back into the parking space.
- Using your side and rear view mirrors, straighten out your vehicle when you’re no more than 50 centimetres away from the curb.
- Ease into the parking space until your front bumper is aligned the back bumper of the car parked in front of you.
- Leave equal amounts of space between your vehicle and the cars parked both in front of you and behind you.
One of the best ways to build parallel parking skills is to practice in areas where there are no other cars parked. Build your confidence backing up and parking against the curb, then move on to practicing near actual parked cars with plenty of space between them. As you gain experience, you’ll get better and better.
Parking on a Hill
There are two techniques to remember for parking on a hill. The first applies to situations where the hill has a curb, and the second applies to situations where there is no curb.
If there is a curb, just think of Superman’s famous line: “Up, up and away!” That will help you remember the key to hill parking:
- When facing uphill, turn your wheels as far away from the curb as you can, once you’re in your final parking position
- When facing downhill, turn your wheels as far towards the curb as you can
These techniques ensure that your car will roll to a safe stop against the curb if your hand brake should become disengaged. These rules only apply if you are parking on the right-hand side of the road. If you’re on a hilly one-way street and you’re forced to park on the left-hand side of the road, turn your wheels in the opposite direction of what is listed above.
If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, put it in park and engage the hand brake. If you’re driving a manual transmission vehicle, leave your car in reverse or first gear when you switch off the ignition.
In cases where there is no curb, always leave your wheels turned to the right if you’re parked on the right-hand side of the road, or to the left if you’re parked on the left-hand side of the road. This will prevent your vehicle from rolling into the middle of the roadway in the event of an accidental displacement.
Calgary Car Insurance: Enjoy Great Rates and Outstanding Service from Lane’s
At Lane’s Insurance, our chief concern is to help you stay safe on the roads. For more parking-related driving tips, check out our resources on setting your vehicle’s mirrors and how to safely drive in a parking lot.
Visit us online to access our extensive library of digital resources, and to get fast, free, no-obligation Calgary car insurance quotes. Our brokers always strive to deliver excellent insurance coverage at optimum rates.