Drivers: Types of parking

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photo_ Nichole Sobecki for The Wall Street Journal

Stopping the vehicle and leaving it unoccupied is called parking.

There are different types of parking. The most common types of parking are angle parking, perpendicular parking and parallel parking.

Angle parking is especially widespread in parking lots, where vehicles are designated to go one way.

Here are some safety tips for this type of parking:

  • Stay at a safe distance from parked cars so that you can see and maneuver better once you have found an empty spot.
  • Stay alert for cars backing out to leave their space.
  • Always signal to show that you are ready to make a turn.

Perpendicular parking is similar to angle parking, but requires greater care in turning. Perpendicular parking is done in spaces marked in a 90-degree angle to the curb or a building. Place your car in the center of the parking spot and turn the wheels straight.

Parallel parking is generally used next to a curb in the space between two parked cars. Find a place which is at least 5 feet longer than your car. It requires practice to master this maneuver, but sometimes it is your only choice.

Always signal first, and then position your vehicle parallel with the vehicle parked (rear bumpers of both vehicles are aligned) in front of the empty spot. Keep at least two feet away from this vehicle (see figure).

Be attentive to the place where you leave your car. There are a lot of restrictions about parking, and you have to keep in mind the pavement marking rules and your state’s traffic laws and know what circumstances won’t allow you to park in some areas.

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