How to Park Backwards

Step by step
How to Park Backwards

Parking is really difficult for a lot of drivers, especially new ones. It’s nothing to be ashamed of though, as it’s something everyone had to learn through lots of practice and experience. The more times you do it the better you get. Parking forwards is one thing, but reversing into a spot is another. When learning how to park backwards, you’ll have to use all three of your mirrors a lot more, and your spatial awareness. If you remain focused though, it’s really not that big of an issue. When you know what you’re doing and are familiar with the steps needed to park, you’ll have no issues whatsoever. Don’t mistake parking backwards with parallel parking though. Parallel parking is a topic covered separately.

Find a Good Spot

car parking

Depending on which side of the parking lot you’re going to park, you’ll want to find a space with enough room and signal that you’ll be turning into that spot. Note: if you’re parking on the left side of the parking lot, you’ll have to be quicker and park in a swift manner so as to not block traffic a long time. Remain calm and keep your cool though, as you have plenty of time to park.

Lining Up

car parking color

Drive past the open parking spot and stop when your bumper has just passed the car on the far end of your parking spot. Keep a distance of around three feet from the parked cars and check your mirrors to make sure no cars are approaching (don’t forget to look ahead of you as well).

Backing In

cars lined up

Put the car in reverse and get ready to back up. Leave your turn signal on throughout the entire procedure if possible to make yourself and your intentions more visible. Turn the steering wheel all the way to the right (or left if you’re parking on the left side of the lot) and start backing in slowly. You want to watch your right side with the mirror at all times (or left if you’re parking on the left side), but occasionally check on the rearview mirror and the opposite side mirror as well.

Finish Parking

parking car

If needed, don’t be afraid to make minor corrections to get your car perfectly inside the parking spot. Once you’re fully inside the spot you can straighten up your wheels, avoiding confusion and maybe even an accident when you get in the car to leave afterwards. Remember that you can always go forwards and give the parking another attempt. Don’t panic, there really is no need for that. Worst case scenario is you have to get out of the spot (if your car is sideways) and you’ll have to take another shot at it.

That’s it really. Remain calm and you’ll get the hang of reverse parking in no time. Top tip: If you’re not that good with the rearview mirrors, place your right hand on the back of the passenger seat and turn your head backwards. You’ll still have to check what’s in front of you and monitor the mirrors, but you won’t rely solely on them.

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