"Parkaphobia" - are you scared of parallel parking?

Tips and hints to help you with your parallel parking issues

Nothing says stressful like trying to find parking in the busy city when you’re already late for a meeting, and then you still have to  manoeuvre into the small parking space. Not ideal! It’s not surprising that in a recent Ford poll, parking was ranked alongside job interviews and meeting the in-laws as life’s most nerve-wracking moments.

Apparently a whole third of motorists and 41% of women suffer from ‘parkophobia’ (no offence ladies). According to AA Driving Academy Manager, Shahied Haniff, many licensed drivers only know enough about parking to pass their driver’s license and therefore struggle to translate these principles to everyday life. So the good news is that you’re not alone, but nobody can park for you. Luckily we’re here to help! Follow our tips to get into that tight spot and you’ll be just fine.

1. The slower the better

Don’t try to race into the parking area, rather slow it down. The slower you drive the more time you’ll have to correct your car if you misjudge the space.

2. Be your own judge

‘When we get our drivers licence we aren’t taught how to judge distance – this can be a huge problem for a lot of women,’ says Rich. While studies show that we tend to do poorly on tasks that require spatial awareness, recent research by the UK’s University of Warwick shows that a shot of confidence can help us perform better. ‘Our research suggests that by making a woman feel better about herself, she’ll become better at spatial tasks,’ says the study’s head researcher Dr. Zachary Estes. Take a couple of deep breaths, try to feel reassured and continue parking!

3. Concentrate 

With all those ”road-ragers” and impatient drivers, it’s easy to forget you actually have driving skills. Focus on yourself and forget what’s going on around you, says Rich.

For further help, follow these essential steps to parallel parking:

-Find a space big enough to fit your car and with a bit of room to manoeuvre.

-As you reverse slowly and carefully – while looking for oncoming cars – look for these indicators to lock your tyres in the direction of the pavement: The front door of your car is near the back bumper of the front car and you should be able to see the front car’s behind through your back passenger window.

-Lock your wheels in the opposite direction when: The rear of your car is completely in the bay and you can see the front car’s right taillight through the left part of your windshield.

-Once the rear of your car is entirely in the bay, straighten your tyres and ease in. Drive a tiny bit forward to centre your car if necessary.