Parking crooked is an age-old problem and not something that will go away entirely any time soon. Whether you yourself are the culprit, or perhaps you have a friend, family member, or significant other that just can’t get the hang of it, it can be very frustrating to deal with!
I think we can all agree that what is more annoying is arriving at a busy parking lot where other people have parked so crookedly, they have made some spaces unusable. And, of course, we never want to be the person to park crooked and deprive other people of a parking spot. The shame! This handy article will help ensure you never park crooked again (hopefully, anyway!).
Why Is It So Hard To Park Straight?
Parking straight not parking crooked can be quite difficult for a lot of people for a few reasons. While people like to make jokes about someone’s driving ability there are actually some pretty basic problems that can crop up for some people that are entirely out of their hands. Firstly, not everyone has an equally fine-tuned sense of spatial awareness both in and out of their vehicle.
If you find yourself bumping doorways slightly as you try to go through them or knocking things from time to time chances are you won’t be that good at parking. Not at first, at least. Additionally, without practicing parking in your specific car it can be quite hard to know how much space you need and how to approach parking properly.
What Is The Solution To Parking Crooked?
If you want to park straight every time the best move is to reverse park. This is NOT what many people wanted to hear; we know. Reverse parking at an angle allows you to almost rinse and repeat the action of parking around 90 degrees to an exact science.
It can be a little intimidating for some people and the risk of messing up feels higher, but with some practice, it will be second nature. You can always practice in an empty parking lot so the stakes are much lower (the stakes are nothing but mild embarrassment if someone is with you). Go for it. You will be grateful you learned.
How To Tell If You Have Parked Straight And Are Not Parking Crooked?
There are a few ways to tell if you have parked straight. Firstly, you can generally tell if you have parked straight by looking at other cars around you and if you can see them in your side mirrors if the white lines feel an equal distance from either side of your car.
Some people are lucky enough to have rear cameras which are useful regardless of whether you reverse park or not. They can help you identify if you are at an equal distance between the two vehicles or lines on either side of you. Some people even choose to install front-facing cameras to help them tell if they have parked straight and that they are far enough into the parking spot.
Is It Okay To Park Slightly Offset?
Sure, it is absolutely fine to park slightly offset so long as you are able to get in and out of your vehicle and the people next to you can do so too. If you are at a slight angle there is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, you will find that even if your car looks/feels dead straight you are likely to be a few degrees off one way or the other.
Is There Anything Wrong With Opening Your Door To Check You Have Parked Straight?
There is a mild feeling of shame and embarrassment for some people when they open their driver’s side door to check they are within the lines of the space they are trying to park in. There shouldn’t be! It is perfectly fine to open the door to check you are parked correctly.
If you are, great, you can get out of the car. If you aren’t, now at least you know before you have left the car. It is far more “embarrassing” to have to walk back to your car and park it again. But trust us, no one will notice or care, either way, so don’t sweat it.
Why Am I Always Parking Crooked Even If I Feel Straight?
The problem many people have when they are parking crooked is that they feel with total certainty that they have parked straight and correctly even though they might be way off. The reason for this in many cases we the driver are sat on one side of the vehicle, not in the center, so our internal spatial awareness is slightly out of whack.
You may find that you have to learn to feel that you are at a certain angle and that actually once you have got out of the car you will realize that you are parked completely straight. And sometimes, it’s not our fault in the slightest.
How To Check Your Thrust Angle Is Correct
All cars have something called a thrust angle, which is not a tangible thing, it is merely the angle at which the car is moving forward. Sometimes, we feel straight inside the car but the wheels are not quite aligned correctly which means the thrust angle is slightly off.
And, because the car isn’t moving perfectly straight forward, we may be slightly off-center when we attempt to park. You can test this by having a friend drive behind you about 50 feet away and see if you are driving dead straight or if you are slightly veering off. You can also take your car to the mechanic to have your wheels aligned.
Hopefully, you now feel a little more confident with the idea of reverse parking as well as why reverse parking is more reliable. Additionally, the weird stigmas around being able to park straight and or reverse park are absolutely weird and harsh.
Anyone can park properly if they put the time and effort in to learn how and use every available tool at their disposal. Whether that means trusting your rear parking cameras or having your wheels realigned.