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The best way to parallel park

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2.9k points · 2 months ago

Where can get the laser beams installed?

The same place that sells you the camera drone for the bird's eye view.

They have these in new cars. I saw it on a Nissan maxima. It was pretty awesome.

I have it in my Maxima and find it distracting when parallel parking. Probably due to 20 years of parking without cameras.

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Holy shit that’s a great idea! When not in use it can be disguised as a hood ornament or something! You know what you need to do!

This is actually a thing in newer cars such as Volkswagen XC 90

The mythical Volkswagen XC 90

Not to be confused with the Volvo Touareg ;-)

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Yep I've seen it on a F150. It's just black magic

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While you’re looking for a laser beam installer I’ll look around for a spot with this much space because that’s gonna be a little harder to find.

Or people that actually leave that fucking much room lmao if only.

10 points · 2 months ago

If you turn your side mirror down a little there’s a point when backing up the curb makes a triangle with the body of your car in the mirror while backing up the triangle gets smaller and just before it disappears is when you cut the wheel. It takes some learning but once you see it you’ll never mess up again. I’m not home now but try googleing parallel parking mirror trick, I think it’s a fairly common thing to learn in city driving tests.

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3.1k points · 2 months ago

TIL I need a protractor every time I parallel park.

855 points · 2 months ago

Don’t be silly, just use your drone with geometric overlay display like everyone else

My wife car has a 360 view. It makes parking so god damn easy.

252 points · 2 months ago

You married a car?

40 points · 2 months ago

.... what the fuck.


No thank you.



Well, I clicked on this at a bar and the person next to me started laughing. No - it's not what you think - parallel parking and... never mind, I'll leave now.

I mean. I think jerking off in private would be just about the same. WTH he was thinking to bone that car? Lol

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... why?

Lol. I just hop on my wife’s shoulders and she takes me around. Super easy parking. So my wife is a car.

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I had a 2014 Ford Escape as a company car for a while, and that thing would parallel park itself.

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Also need to see through the car to see the wheels

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27 points · 2 months ago

I just hit the cars, give up, and go home.

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I just use my backup camera like everyone else.

Ooo mr.fancy here has a backup camera, next thing yah know he’ll have non roll up windows.

For real. My car didn't even have an aux input before I had to replace the receiver. I sure as shit don't have a back up camera.

... fuckin kids today and their aux inputs. back in my day we used a cassette with an aux cord attached to it AND WE LIKED IT!

I still do

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My car was an inbetweener. It had no cassette player so I had to use an FM transmitter. Now that was painful.

These things are black magic and I love it

I just bought a new car. I had it week when a friend pointed out that it didn’t even have a CD player. At first I was disappointed, then I just went “meh”, and just continued to listened to my iPod.

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This is probably the worst way to learn to parallel park and its the one every driving school teaches. It is wrong, poorly thought out, and causes no end of anxiety.

Philippe LeTourneau from Canada's Worst Driver delivered a much better common-sense lesson which is how everybody should learn. Its so freaking easy when done this way.

It definitely depends a bit on how you have your side mirrors set, and the car you're in, but this is the easiest way to learn how to do it until you get a feel for your individual car.

Estimating where your front/rear tires are is a pain, so I always learned for the first step to try to line up my rear-passenger door (back side) with the bumper of the car that I'd be parking behind. It's a bit easier to visualize through your over-the-shoulder look, though a little less precise. You'll usually end up close enough though.

Schematically exactly the same as OP. Mirrors aren't a good indicator as everyone does them differently (I know I do) and different vehicles will require different mirror setups.

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I can't even park my amateur tractor.

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1.7k points · 2 months ago

very realistic, coming from someone who failed the parallel parking test when getting my license and NOW being an excellent parallel parker, this is exactly what I learned to do.

The only unrealistic thing is how much dang space there is in that open spot. People park waaay closer IRL than that :P

LPT: just push their cars with your car a lil bit

286 points · 2 months ago

That's why they're called "bumpers." For bumping.

You joke, but my 91 year old grandfather says this and means this.

65 points · 2 months ago

to be fair, “bumper” used to mean something. they were for just that. big metallic guard rails. but modern cars are designed (for safety reasons i’m sure) with the bumper integrated into the design of the vehicle. the cars are a lot safer now but even a tiny bump produces a much more expensive repair.

To be fair, what you are calling a bumper is actually the bumper cover. It's just the aesthetic piece of plastic/aluminum that makes the car look nice. Under that is still a metal bar to help absorb and distribute forces during impact.

You can bump a car going <5mph (a common speed, in close quarter parking situations like parallel parking) and certainly rock the other car, but cause no actual damage to either vehicle. If you are making contact from bumper to bumper, not on the side. Any side contact/rubbing is going to leave visible permanent marks or scratches even if you're going 1mph.

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I saw someone in a Mini Cooper do this to a BMW 740i in Paris outside a restaurant. The owner watched and didn’t say a word. I asked him if he was going to do anything and he said, “Why? It’s what they’re for.”

I guess when you have money, stuff like that doesn’t matter. A complete bumper replacement costs the same if it has 1 dent or 15 gouges.

I think it's more of a European thing to actually use the bumpers. At least that's what my tour guide in Spain said when we say a big Mercedes van bump both cars next to it while pulling out

17 points · 2 months ago

Friendly reminder even though we call our selfs Europeans from time to time and a lot of us feel we are a European we are still a collection of different country's with wildly different cultures.

So please don't do this in the Netherlands we will not tolerate this and is baffling to us when we go to other country's. If we take our own car we will drive around just till we find a parking place were this can't happen.

Personally I feel it's mostly a result of bad city planning.

11 points · 2 months ago

Netherlands in a car? Did you forget that you only cycle?

Haha O right I forgot.

Actually I really don't have a driver's license and I'm 35 ;)

Yes, if you do this in Germany you'll have people suing you in the dozens. Either that or if they see you bump their car you'll have the cops called on you or get beat up.

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Idk, I watched another car practically climb on top of mine in order to parallel park behind me. A friend was with me and asked if I was going to go over and say anything. I figured they probably hadn't damaged it at all, so I said nah. When I got back to the car, I found that, just like I thought, there was no damage (that I could tell, anyway. There is a little bump from when someone rear ended my husband like 8 years ago and maybe I missed additional bumps but I wasn't too concerned).

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I lived in NYC. I don't joke about parking.

Popping the tires and pushing in the desired direction should yield an extra six inches per vehicle.

"They're called bumpers, not avoiders"

Are you french?

Happy Cake Day!

Happy cake day, sexy

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21 points · 2 months ago

Can't tell if troll or not. But this is why I always pull my ebrake/handbrake when parking instead of just leaving it in park. Rather have my brakes take the tension than outting it on my park-gearpin.

Bumping when parallel parking or leaving a spot is super common in a lot of major cities. Cars in Paris frequently park with their bumpers touching and push each other to get out.

21 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

When I lived in Brooklyn, the cars on my always-packed street often had these little rubber bumper guards they'd flip down when parking. Just enough to cover the bumpers and keep the cars from getting scratched during the inevitable bumps.

8 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

Bumper bully!

I always see these when I visit NY and it makes me laugh.

Parking in Toronto is also pretty horrible but I've never seen someone use those here.

Comment deleted2 months ago

I'd completely forgotten the name, but thanks to /u/sci3nc3isc00l, here you go! Turns out that there are a bunch of styles, evidently enough to have a dedicated "License Plate Bracket Central" site review them (what?).

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We definitely use the "love tap" in my city.

The other night I accidentally backed up into someone’s car because they left me no space to back up when leaving (there was a tree in front of me). Literally parked 2-3 feet into my space, with no one behind them. Not really sure what they expected me to do.

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"love tap"

6 points · 2 months ago

aka city parking

Known as “parking by Braille” in Brooklyn.

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15 points · 2 months ago

What scared me about the test, there was no parallel parking part of my test and I live in San Francisco. All there is are parallel parking spots on 30 degree hills. I should really have been tested on that before I got a license...

I grew to in SF but took my test in Daly City because fuck the SF DMV. There was no parallel parking component, just had to reverse 10 feet or so near the curb without hitting it. Parallel parking in SF is terrifying (if you ever find a spot).

2 points · 2 months ago

I took my test in Daly City too. Easier test and nicer DMV employees. They didn't even do the reversing part in my actual test. Just around the block from the DMV, over to that big gas station, then back. My instructor went to In-N-Out whilst I did the actual test and hadn't even given them her order when I called to tell her I had passed.

Yeah, I actually enjoy parallel parking but San Francisco really tests my skills. Parking on a steep hill, on the left side of a one-way street, into a spot of questionable size, while driving stick totally sucks.

42 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

When the passenger side headlight of the car behind you is in the middle of your rearview, start to turn the wheels the other way.

69 points · 2 months ago


Congratulations. You are nominated for Best Reddit Comment 2018.

24 points · 2 months ago


I liked your earlier stuff better. It just seems like a sell-out now.

13 points · 2 months ago

Goddmit I was trying not to show it... In falling apart

But why if my rearview isnt pointing exactly to the rear of my car? What if my car is longer? There is no one rule.

That’s why this gif is such a crock of shit.

I also always drive into it just a little so the rear of my car is somewhat closer to the curb.

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I teach driving and there are many things wrong with this GIF. Technically true, but very few people are going to learn from it. The main reason being that if everyone had that kind of awesome spacial awareness to be able to judge space and distance like they do in the GIF, no one would need it in the first place.

Seriously, any idea how much a long for a drone to follow me around so I can ask people just where the hell they think they are on the road?

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14 points · 2 months ago

that and being able to pull past a spot to park in and trying to back into it without some asshat pulling into it behind you

Yea I was like this is the best case scenario. This doesn't work well if you have a smaller space.

It doesn't, but it technically is still the best way (I know of) it is just that it requires a +10 point turn :P

The only unrealistic thing is how much dang space there is in that open spot

Seriously, that drives me nuts every time I see this gif. Oh yeah, it's super easy to parallel park when you've got a spare 50% of your car length to work with. Let's see the revised animation where you're got 2' or less of extra space.

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This isn’t realistic at all.

You've never been to my work place then. People who park on the road there give so much space in front. Not enough to get a car in. Barely a smart car maybe. They waste so much space unnecessarily. :[

My condolences. I was using my parents minivan, hit another car while parallel parking and still passed. I didn't even know until he told my dad after the test. Apparently I nudged a bumper.

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Failed on the parallel park twice, but partially due to having an examiner who was a huge prick. Any advice?

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445 points · 2 months ago

A lot of assumptions are being made.

Exactly. If you need help parallel parking with a car-and-a-half space, you need more than just this gif. Live in a mountain town or overpopulated area with shitty roads, and you can learn to cram a Buick into almost anywhere.

Or an urban area where you're trying to cram your car in a spot about six inches longer than it is with traffic honking at you.

So much this... you’re only good at parallel parking when it’s done like this on a daily basis... been there.

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That reminds me of a scene from ‘live free or die hard’ when Bruce Willis drove a car ‘up your girlfriend’s ass’

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I agree, they need to do it with a real world scenario, with smaller clearance. This is amateur hour of parallel parking they’re showing.

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162 points · 2 months ago

What if the drivers of the other cars have parked badly? Seems this technique depends on all involved being parked perfectly. Personally I go for a technique where I move backward and forward several times trying to parallel park, and end up pretty much where I started. Then I give up and go to a multi-storey car park and spend a couple of minutes with my head on the steering wheel feeling ashamed and embarrassed, ensuring my most recent failure gets buried deep, deep down with other painful memories from my life that I relive every night as I try to sleep. I’m sure there are other ways of parking but I haven’t learnt them.

Don’t feel method is the standard technique that most of us use. The only successful parallel park I ever did was in my drivers licence test. The tester just gave a small nod and put a little tick on the form while I was trying to restrain myself from punching the air and shouting “YES!!!”.

Living on a very busy narrow two way street, this is my daily routine after work. As I approach, my heart sinks and my mouth dries up. Sometimes I find a very big gap and I feel blessed for the entire day. Most likely, I promptly engage in the aforementioned charade. On my worst days I have cars waiting behind and in front during my struggle, only for me to give up in shame and wait for them to awkwardly pass while giving me death glares and pitying tuts. After driving around a couple of streets, I usually find another awkward space and park on the kerb and spend several minutes hyperventilating in shame, imagining all the neighbours witness to my eternal anguish.

I feel you bro😢

backward and forward several times

The Austin Powers Method.

If only people left that much room in between cars, the world would be a happier place.

63 points · 2 months ago · edited 2 months ago

I would be mad if people left that much space... It means, we are parking two cars in place of three.

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Being from San Francisco, my method is to pull up relatively close to the front car, back up and turn sharply once the middle column of your car is at the front car's rear bumper. Then sharply turn the other direction once your front wheels meet the front car's rear. This depends on your car of course, but it was a good rule of thumb.

144 points · 2 months ago

Having spent a decent amount of time in San Francisco, my method is to Uber.

50 points · 2 months ago

Another San Franciscan method: self-parking mode on their Tesla.

I cannot imagine parallel parking on those hills

14 points · 2 months ago

Does anyone dare have a manual transmission in that city?

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Oh boy when I was younger I got really good at parking in the city. One time I parked my dads Honda Element in a spot that was 6-8 inches bigger than it. I just remember everyone getting out of the car and being like holy shit. Then there was a lady across the street who had stopped to watch just standing there in disbelief. I made sure the cars around me could get out and went on my was so happy with myself.

I still don’t know how I did it but oh my it was one of my proudest moments driving. It had all of the SF driving quirks, stick shift, hill, and tight fits. Getting out I needed help but going in I really didn’t realize what I was going into.

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Same, I also change to top down view when I parallel park.

Comment deleted2 months ago

Would you elaborate please?

I love your username!

9 points · 2 months ago

I’m not the one you asked, but I found this article about it.

TLDR: the cars have cameras around the vehicle. The images are processed and stitched together to give a top down view.

I'm amazed. Holy crap. Wow. Switching to 3rd person top view is a thing! Some people have such awesome engineering capabilities!

My (new to me huuuuuge upgrade 2013 Honda) has a back-up camera that I largely ignore because I'm not used to it! But then, I do struggle with opening "lift and peel" bottles. :(

Thanks for blowing my mind.

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Comment deleted2 months ago

Whoa! I was car shopping for months recently. How did I not know this was a thing!?

Thanks, you've made me learn today.

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360 points · 2 months ago

Or in other words, the way you’re supposed to parallel park.

This is how they tought us to parallel park where I'm from (Finland). People here are acting like this gif is some sort of revelation.

34 points · 2 months ago

Some places don't teach you this and it's not on some driving tests. A lot of places in the US you'll never even need to parallel park because the parking lots as so big and the parallel spots are so long you can essentially just drive into them.

Yeah when I got my license 18 years ago (Jesus Christ, I'm old) we did the Y-shaped maneuverability thing. My instructor spent maybe five minutes on parallel parking. Then I never parallel parked for probably ten years. Even today I'm hit or miss.

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wrong. it's actually easier if you line up properly with the car in front. gives you longer to reverse and do any turning.

that way you dont need a protractor and those metre long rulers teachers used to have

Yea, I don't know which to believe because I've seen this picture on Reddit before too.

I've tried both and the image works better for me than the gif, but maybe that's the lack of protractor.

32 points · 2 months ago

The spot is a lot tighter in this diagram than in then gif so that's the difference

This method changed my life. Hands down the best way to parallel park. OPs gif is ridiculous, that spot is huge, you could probably pull straight in.

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WTF is going on with the grammar in that info graphic

Glad I'm not the only one who noticed.

start two feet from the forward car, with your bumpers parrale


I hate when they hit my bumbers

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It doesn't matter, they both work. The surprising thing is how many people have never seen either. What kind of shit driving education does America have where it doesn’t teach this?

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13 points · 2 months ago

Here's an easy visual guide when reversing with your steering wheel turned all the way to the side, watch your rear view mirror until the side of your car lines up with the edge of the car behind you.. That's when you straighten the wheel, reverse straight back and turn the wheel the other way as soon as you can, without hitting the car in front of you.

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13 points · 2 months ago

What's the point of the first time the car stops and the markings they show before it moves into the proper position?

Came here looking for someone else asking this. That information seemed useless because it had nothing to do with the following steps.

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I think it is meant to instruct you on how to visually assess if a parking spot big enough for you to parallel park in it.

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I grew up in a rural area where parallel parking wasn't a thing. During driver's ed the instructor told me to park behind a car in a parking lot and "pretend there's a car behind you."

This is definitely a helpful gif.

I smashed over cones in my test and still passed. In a rural town I don't think they care.

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82 points · 2 months ago

I have no idea what most of that means


10 points · 2 months ago

It means that you should carry a tape measure.

6 points · 2 months ago

And be an expert at trigonometry

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The lines represent the axes of rotation of the wheels. By finding the intersection of those lines, you create a common center for the circles which each wheel traces out when rolling. This must be true since the power steering will keep all of the rotational axes stationary in the car's frame of reference.

Is this more intuitive IRL than it seems to me? Because lining up imaginary lines based on where I think my wheels are seems hard to imagine

Oh no doubt it still takes practice IRL. I am not thinking about this geometry while trying to parallel park.

38 points · 2 months ago

Isn't this...commonly taught in drivers ed nowadays? I was taught how to parallel park just like this over 10 years ago, but I guess from the upvotes most people were never taught?

  • You pull up so your mirror aligns with the parked cars mirror (slightly different from what the video shows)

  • Turn your wheel one full rotation clockwise, back up very slowly

  • Once your wheel crosses the back of the parked car you very sharply turn the wheel completely counter-clockwise, gradually straightening it out towards the end

  • Pull forward a bit and that's it

Comment deleted2 months ago
15 points · 2 months ago

Got my license nearly 2 years ago. Both instructors I had never mentioned it, wasn't tested on it, on my drive home from the test I had to parallel park immediately outside of my apartment in San Francisco on a hill.

So prepared!

Got my license last month, practiced it one time in drivers ed, but never needed it for the test

You pull up so your mirror aligns with the parked cars mirror (slightly different from what the video shows)

The way I was thaught was to align your car's back wheels (or your car back's seat) with the back end of the other cars. I think this is also what this car is doing.

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You pull up so your mirror aligns with the parked cars mirror (slightly different from what the video shows)

Blughghushg! Driving instructor here. I hate this point because it ONLY works with cars of similar size. The entire point of "line up the side mirrors" is to get the back ends it actually works better if you just get the back ends even.

Using your Mazda 3 to parallel park with an F150? If you line up the side mirrors, you just gonna go right into his truck.

Yeah I think it requires an element of common sense also

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Possibly my biggest achievement in life that no one witnessed, is that I once parallel parked a big tractor trailer, the truck with the big 53 foot trailer, perfectly and on my first attempt. I am not a truck driver, had no idea what I was doing, and was like 23 years old at the time. But I fucking nailed it dead on, first attempt. I want it mentioned on my obituary.


"Nailed a 53' trailer on his first attempt. Had no idea what he was doing, now he's here."

The biggest anxiety when doing this is the other people waiting behind you when you're trying this manuever

there is no way my brain can put all those lines on the ground while I'm inside the car

i was taught the simple version of this by my driving instructor

best way to learn? practice. just park a ton for a few hours till you can do it with your eyes closed

But then probably don't do it with your eyes closed

I only do it with my eyes closed.

Incidentally, i don't have a car anymore

This is given that other people know how to park like actual human beings and leave space for someone else

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General Reposti. u/dickfromaccounting stop trying to karma farm man

Very cool, but not exactly helpful since I can’t really count on an out of body experience every time I need to parallel park.

Step 1: Have out of body experience and hover 20ft above your car

I saw this a few years back and this has improved my parallel parking skill tremendously. Sure sometimes the spot will be too small because I misjudge but apart from that, amooth all the way.

Thanks goodguy internet

There's another way?

TBH drifting into the spot looks way cooler.

This is really helpful but not realistic. The people in my apartment always take up too much space where it’s impossible to park or when I do end up finding parking it’s never this easy to park. 🙃

My brother taught me this trick before I could drive. He was a teenager and I was around ten. I parallel park perfectly almost Every time. RIP Danny ;)

“Most helpful gif of all time” lol

Parallel parking is a hit or miss...

3 points · 2 months ago

Ok don't rush me, let me get my triangle out

As if the fucks in any city will ever give you that much room.

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The problem is, I, and I am assuming most people, wont remember this when we are actually going to parallel park, and it is kinda unrealistic to whip out the gif in our car. Cool gif, but I question its effectiveness as a learning tool.

I mean i am happy for today's "lucky 10.000" but honestly, isnt this what a driving test ist for? What did people on here do for their licence? O.o

I have an easier way.

  • Match the side mirrors with the car in front.

  • Turn the wheel all the way and then drive until you can see the curbs, then turn the opposite way while you continue.

  • Done.

As someone with a truck i can guarantee this doesn't work for all vehicles

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I'm gonna have to load this gif into my neural implants so I can get these degrees down.

5 points · 2 months ago

Yeah, good luck finding so much space like.. anywhere.

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I'm not sure the people waiting to get around me would appreciate me getting in a position and then getting out to make sure that everything is lined up and then getting back in to make the next move and so on and so forth.

5 points · 2 months ago

The best part about this is when parallel parking, you never have this much space. Instead you're working with about a foot of extra space.

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I personally would rather just park somewhere else.

2 points · 2 months ago

More space for us!

That's exactly how my teacher taught me when taking driving lessons; though this would be far more educational if it showed the inside view of the car, for what you should be looking for in the mirrors.

When I was in drivers ed, they taught this exact thing and it’s always stuck with me. However I’ve never actually tried it because when confronted with a parallel parking situation, I say “Fuck that. Nope.”

I Feel you . Every time i tried it i always thought there wasn't enough space and in the end i decide to park in another place. I better park half a kilometer away than bumping into another car, some people get crazy for the slightest scratch. walking never hurts anyway.

What’s the point in the first two lines of the car just drives forward again anyway?

3 points · 2 months ago

Make sure they had enough space.

Give me a sec, I just need to line up the imaginary lines from my front wheels with the imaginary line from my back wheels.

Every time this gets reposted I learn less about parking

Duh, if you remember it's a repost you probably remember something of it. Of course you'd learn less.

2 points · 2 months ago

I still think this is the best way to parallel park

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Deadass no one ever taught me how to parallel park and I never attempted one until I first saw this online and it's such a cakewalk I don't get how people can be so bad at it now

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Knowing the angles is useless. Learning to hold my foot consistently on the brake while quickly turning the wheel right is where I struggle.

Ok so park your car from the international space station. Got it!

Dat slow zoom tho

The lines and space make it seem like a mathematical principle, but it's being shown without explanations as if it's self-evident. I don't really understand the full range of movement that a car can make. I know there's an explanation for it, but the best i can seem to get is just: "Iuonno, it's just how it works" It can move in a weird backwards 45 degree spin, that's super fucky for me. And it's not even a clean 45 degree, it's kind of stretched out a little. And then when you drive it's not a bird's eye view, it's one of the most misplaced, the furthest away place from where you're going. It feels like you're going to run over the sidewalk or ruin a car or two.

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