Coming face-to-face with a car parking space and knowing that you must attempt to parallel park there has to be one of the most daunting experiences for first time drivers, up there with perfecting the hill start and overtaking for the first time. But it doesn’t matter how many years driving experience you have, car parking still strikes fear into the hearts of many drivers. Each car parking space is different with each posing its own unique challenge.
Some days it will all come together with minimal manoeuvring; you park the car so quickly and neatly that you almost take a photo it’s so perfect. Then sometimes it’s just a disaster; you cause a massive tailback as you perform multiple cycles of drive forward and reverse and still end up miles away from the kerb. Worst case scenario, you give up and you end up driving away with a bruised ego (and maybe a bruised bumper too).
The study carried out by the International Parking Institute claims that 30% of traffic in a city comes from people looking for parking spaces. We’ve all been there; you do laps around the same streets looking for a car parking space until finally you see a car pulling out and you pounce on it.
Once you’ve found the Holy Grail of parking spaces, and executed a perfect piece of parallel parking without breaking into a sweat, it’s time to pay. First of all you must find a meter that actually works before emptying your pockets into it to avoid the dreaded traffic warden. Then once you’re finished your shopping it’s a dash back to the car before your time runs out to avoid a parking ticket slapped on your car or worse still, a nasty clamp. But alas you come back to the car to find your shattered wing mirror lying on the road. Adding to your woes, the car in front (AND behind) is parked so close that you would need to be Houdini to get out of that space.
You vow never again to park on that street. Next time you will park in that nice, big car park you saw on the outskirts of town. Plenty of room to manoeuvre there. Sound familiar? These are just some of the challenges facing us drivers as we cruise the streets looking for parking.
It really is enough to leave a girl exhausted.
Bad lighting, broken parking meters and too tight spaces – what are your parking bugbears? Leave a comment and let us know.
10th April, 2014