Parallel Parking Driving Maneuver

In today's driving lesson, my instructor introduced me to a new driving maneuver the parallel parking exercise usually refered to by DSA examiners as the reverse parking maneuver.

As usual with my ADI, he started off by doing a lesson recap using Q&A to check if I remembered how to use clutch control to keep the car slow, where I should look when doing some straight reversing in the car, and why it is important to use the POM system for all my maneuvers in particular the importance of all round observations.

It was now time to have a full lesson briefing on the parallel parking exercise, and my instructor showed me a diagram of what we where about to do, the reference points for the manouver, and how much I needed to steer by at each point. 5 minutes later, it was time to do it for real, with my ADI giving me a full talk through step by step.

First I was instructed to move off and stop along side the target vehicle, keeping my car parallel to and about 1 metre away from it. He also mentioned that I should allow my car to go slightly forward past the vehicle and end up with my wheels straight.

Next I should select reverse gear and get the car prepared by finding the biting point, do a 6 point check to make sure it is safe and then release the handbrake to allow the car to reverse slowly backwards until the rear of my car had cleared the target vehicle by about 1 metre.
At this reference point, I should stop, look around again, paying attention to see if there where any vehicles about to pass me either from the front or rear, as my vehicle was about to swing out to the right when I steered.
IF it was safe, I was to steer the wheel one full revolution to the left (360), while keeping the car very slow, stopping when my car was at an angle of 45 degrees to the target vehicle (a way of checking this is that my left exterior mirror should be covering the offside rear light clusters of the target vehicle.

Once I get to this reference point I should stop, look around again to make sure it is safe, and then steer full lock to the right as the car continues to reverse backwards slowly, and I should stop once the car is parallel to the street kerb. To complete the maneuver, I need to steer one and a half revolutions to the left, and reverse slowly till I see the tyres of the target vehicle and a little of the road in front of me.

It wasn't too difficult on the first attempt of the exercise, as my driving instructor made sure that I hardly went past the biting point and the car was very slow, and he stopped me at the various refence points to make sure I could look, understand where they were, and what I should be looking for.

We had many goes on the paralel parking exercise, using different cars and other roads, and I also learnt that the gradient on the road had to be taken into account of, as most roads are not truly flat, but the middle was slightly higher than the sides, to allow water to drain away. I wasn't doing badly on the exercise at the end of the driving lesson, but I'll have to check my notes to remind me of everything for the next time, as it is a lot going on at the same time.

One thing that my ADI keep stressing was the fact that I should keep the car very slow at all times, be aware of what is happening around me at all times, stop if I might be a hazard to any other road users and pause to make sure I know which way I want to steer the car, all these are good habits which I need to develop, so that the DSA driving examiner will not have an exuse to fail me on this maneuver during the test.

It is still a while before I need to consider that, as I want to be very confident with my driving anyway. Here is looking forward to more practise of this exercise on my next lessons.

By the way if any of you are looking for affordable cheap driving lessons in NW London from a honest, patient and knowlwdgeable instructor, then I fully recommend you go with mine (tell him Ann sent you), he might not be the cheapest, but in my opinion he is one of the best, I told an American colleague from work who had a Michigan licence to try him before going for a test already booked, he took just two 2hr lessons with him and passed in Mill Hill test centre with only 2 minors! Also my best friend had problems with the left reverse round the corner driving manuever, and even though she lived in east london and already had a test booked, wasn't confident with this manuever, so on a weekend sleep over I booked a one hour lesson with my instructor who gave her tips and practise on the exercise. She passed her driving test with 4 errors despite getting the same exercise on the test in a different car and location. His number is 07956233032, let him know I sent you, as he usually gives me a free lesson for recommendations.

1 comments: said...

There seem to be quite a few ways to do this one.....the trick seems to be to have one that works well for you and that you trust...remembereing that if you use ref points on your instructor car, these might need to change whn you buy your first car...

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