Friday, April 11, 2008

Parallel Parking Mistakes During the Road Test

Parallel parking is one of the hardest, if not the hardest, skill to master for the driving test. It involves backing up, coordination, understanding the proper use of side mirrors, and precise distance estimation. When these don't join together well, a bad parking comes up, which sometimes lead to a bad test result.

One tiny mistake is not signaling before beginning to park. Before any parallel parking the student should signal to let other drivers know what he is doing. However, some students forget to signal. It is only a minor error, but it can make the difference between a pass and a fail.

Another mistake, much bigger, is wrong distance estimation. Instead of being close to the car the student parks behind, he stands far from it. This often leads the parking into a dead end, since he needs more parking space for that, and if there is also a car behind, the parking is doomed to fail.

Hitting the curb is a major mistake in many areas and an automatic test failure. When backing up, some students don't know when to turn their wheel, so they get too close to the curb. When they do turn the steering wheel it's already too late, and the car hits the curb. When this happens, the test is almost always a failure.

There is a more serious mistake than hitting the curb, and that is hitting a car, or even worse, a pedestrian. This happens when the examinee doesn't look back or just stares forward. It is a definite failing score in the test and a very bad feeling for the student. If the student hits a pedestrian, it can also be dangerous.

Not looking back, even without hitting anything, is another serious error during the driving test. When backing up, the student should look in the rear window and the mirrors. Failing to do so is also a reason for the examiner to fail the student on the spot.

Parallel parking requires many hours of practice. In some places, it is not a required skill for the parking test, but any driver should be able to do, especially if he lives or works in a big city. The practice must be with the proper guidance, or else any student would face hardships when practicing this skill.

By Nadav Snir