Step 2: Position

Good technique

Good Technique

Good Technique

Good Technique
Not ideal, but...

The second major consideration of safe parking is how to situate your vehicle within the space you have selected.

If a space is truly "Great" (#4) most likely your vehicle will be protected on all sides. Little, if any, consideration will need to be given to its position (except for, perhaps, being careful not to bump your door into a wall or concrete column).

Proper technique becomes more important as the spaces decrease in quality. In fact, I think you'll find that the combination of a "Bonus Space" and proper technique will account for many good parking experiences.

Check out the photo to the left. My Miata-driving friend from Amarillo, Texas has selected a #3 (Bonus Space) and is displaying excellent technique. Yes, dangers remain. As you can see, the vehicle remains vulnerable from other directions. But this is a very acceptable gamble in the game of Good Parking.

If you find a "Decent Gamble" space (#2), proper positioning may make the difference between "safe" and "damage".

Unfortunately my parking choices at my last job were limited. However by taking an end spot, and situating my vehicle as far to the right as possible (see picture to the left), I'd been able to avoid any parking damage for six years! (Yes, I've rubbed the curb a couple of times - but rubber is easy to clean.)

Parking Mistake

Back to Back
A back-to-back
line violation

Tire Ridge
Protective tire ridge

Be On the Lookout

When pulling into (and out of) a space, there are several things to look at:

First of all, make a mental note - is there a tire stop? (You sure don't want to run over it the way out.) Try to get into the habit of thinking that there IS a tire stop in front of you. That way, you'll check.

Speaking of tire stops, be extra careful when parking in a space that backs up to another space with no wheel blocks between them (see the photo of the van to the left). You may think you are safely in your own space, but "line violators" are everywhere!

Watch that curb! I've rubbed a curb more than once trying to get as far over as possible. Fortunately tires clean up pretty easily. But if you've got a fancy set of wheels, be very careful. (By the way, some tires have ridges that stick out over the edge of the rim to protect the wheel. See the photo to the left. Neat, eh?)

As mentioned previously, every vehicle has a driver - not all have a passenger. As a general rule, try to leave a little more on the driver's side of the vehicle to your right vs. the passenger side of the vehicle to the left. (We're just playing the odds here.)

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