It’s estimated that two-thirds of British motorists have experienced some kind of damage to their vehicles after parking in a car park. Although it seems that many motorists find precision parking and manoeuvrers tricky, regardless of how long they’ve been driving, even minor collisions at low speed can be dangerous and expensive to fix.
Reverse into parking spaces
It’s safer to reverse into a parking space than to drive into one. This is because you can drive straight out when you leave the space instead of blindly reversing out into the path of oncoming traffic.
To reverse into a parking space
- Start indicating to signal that you’re looking for a space and will be coming to a stop.
- Pick out your space and pull up past it by about a single car’s length.
- Check for any vehicles, pedestrians and obstacles. If the coast is clear, put your vehicle in reverse. Make sure you have enough space for the front of the vehicle to swing-out.
- Slowly reverse into the bay, looking back through the rear windscreen. You can glance at your wing mirrors if it helps with accuracy.
- Straighten your steering as you enter the bay to ensure your vehicle is parked centrally.
All vehicles have blind spots in different places. Make sure you know where yours are and check them when making any tricky parking manoeuvres. Your mirrors will help with vision but won’t let you see everything – checking over both shoulders will give you the 360-degree range of view you need to be sure of what’s around you.
Don’t solely rely on parking sensors or rearview cameras; sensors may miss obstacles above or below them, while cameras can give a false sense of distance. It’s always best to use your mirrors first and be observant of the obstacles around you.
Give a wide berth
Park within the space and its lines as centrally as possible. This leaves enough space for the vehicles next to you, reducing the chances of scrapes, scratches and door dents.