Are You Parkophobic?

You know the feeling: you're on your third attempt to slot into a parking bay, while impatient motorists glare - or worse, hoot - at your dismal endeavour. Parking is superstressful and, in a recent Ford poll, was ranked alongside job interviews and meeting the in-laws as one of life's most nerve-racking moments. Apparently a third of motorists and 41% of women suffer from `parkophobia'. And while parking training might seem unnecessary at this stage of your driving career, many licenced drivers have had only enough practice to pass their driver's licence and so struggle to utilise these principles in everyday life. The good news is that you're not alone. The bad? Nobody can do it for you. This is sortie expert tips to get you into that tight spot! 

girls failing parking her car

1. Don’t get up to speed 

Screech into parking bays like Schumacher and wonder why you never get it right? Slow. Down. The slower you drive the more opportunity you'll have to correct your car if you misjudge the space, (Bonus; you'll he spared costly benders.) 

2. You be the judge. 

When we get our driver's license we aren't taught how to judge distance - this can be a huge problem for women. While studies show we tend to do poorly at tasks that require spatial awareness, recent research by the University Of Warwick in the UK shows that a shot of confidence can help us perform better, if a woman is made to feel better about herself, she'll become better at spatial tasks. So take a couple of deep breaths and smile – you’ll feel instantly more in control. 

3. Check your emotions at the (car) door. 

Of course with hooters blaring and eyes boring into the back of your head, it's easy to forget your hard-won skills. So what do you do when you feel yourself getting hot and flustered? Focus on yourself and on practical things such as your gears, steering and speed. 

  • Find a space big enough to accommodate your car, yet with room to manoeuvre. 
  • Park parallel - that is 'bumper-to-bumper' – to the car ahead of the empty bay. As you reverse slowly. Keeping a watch out for oncoming cars on your right, use the following two indicators to lock your tyres towards the pavement: 
#Your front door is near the car ahead's back 
#You can see the car ahead's rear through your back passenger window. 
  • Lock your wheels in the opposite direction when; 
#The rear of your car is completely in the bay. 
#You can see the car ahead's right tail-light through the left part of your windscreen. 
  • Once your car's rear is entirely in. straighten your tyres and ease in. Drive a bit forwards to centre your car.

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