At Peter Skelton Driving School we teach a wide range of pupils in and around Newbury. Our recent driving blog centred specifically around anxious driver, where we have taken a look at how to overcome nerves when driving on the motorway. We can now have a look at the other end of the spectrum where the speeds are very low but concentration and skill are just as high. That can be found while doing manoeuvres. According to the AA, the parallel park seems to offer the most problems especially to anxious drivers.
Parallel parking can be taught one of 2 ways in my opinion. The first is to teach a very strict method that works well and will be good enough to pass your driving test or you can simply “give it a go” and use your own skill and judgement to manoeuvre the car into the right position. Personally I prefer the second method. The reason being is that pupils develop their own skill and judgement on how to reverse the car into the right position. The first time it’s done pupils sometimes make an error. After a brief chat they then have another go. With time they become much more proficient. By developing these skills naturally, the pupils stands a much better chance of being able to adapt these skills to another manoeuvre. They will also be able to park on the opposite side of the road and with practice be able to park in smaller gaps.
So particularly for a nervous driver, practice the manoeuvre on a quiet road and in a fairly large gap, around 2 car lengths. Once you feel confident practice in smaller gaps still on quiet roads. Next try a larger gap on a busier road. Eventually you’ll be able to park in small gaps on busy roads.
Don’t forget the fear of driving is the 5th most common fear, so you’re certainly not alone. At Peter Skelton Driving School we can offer great techniques to help our pupils over come nerves in tricky driving situations. One pupil in Newbury said it helped them overcome anxiety in other aspects of their life too.