Proper Procedure to Bring Out a Car From a Parking Spot

by Lee Morgan
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full parking lot image by Aaron Kohr from

For experienced drivers, pulling out from a parking spot isn’t likely a problem. However, new drivers and even some veteran drivers may find this to be one of the bigger challenges of driving. When your car is in tight quarters with other traffic around, you should be careful to avoid causing an accident. Following a few simple tips regarding parking lots will keep you and those around you safe.

Backing Out Of A Regular Parking Space

Before you get in your car to leave a parking space, you should check your surroundings. Notice if anyone has left anything behind, beside or under your car. If you approached your car from the front and someone left a shopping cart behind you, you may not know it until it is too late, according to

Once you are in the car and buckled up, use all of your mirrors to check the perimeter of the car again as you start the engine. If there are any pedestrians or cars moving in the lane behind you, wait for them to get clear of your car by at least 10 feet before placing the car in reverse and applying the accelerator.

When the coast is clear, press down on the accelerator gently as you look over your right shoulder through the rear window to watch for any approaching people or vehicles. If you see a person or car, stop and let them pass, because they have the right of way.

Turn your wheel in the opposite direction that you wish to exit the lot when your car is about one-third of the way out of the parking space. Glance back and forth repeatedly from the rear window to the front corner of your car that is getting closer to the space adjacent to you. If you turned your wheel to the right, you will be watching your left-front. Be sure you have enough clearance to avoid hitting the car in the next space. Continue to watch out the rear window for approaching traffic.

Once your car is completely into the lane, straighten your wheel and stop. Place your car in drive and you are ready to go. Most importantly, remember to take it slow and easy throughout the process.

Pulling Out From A Parallel Parking Space

Parallel parking is sometimes considered the toughest thing a driver does on a regular basis. Pulling out from a parallel parking space is simple, however.

Check around the perimeter of your car before you get in to ensure there is nothing in your way that you can’t see from inside. Buckle your seat belt and start the engine. Turn the steering wheel so that your wheels are straight and place the car in reverse, according to the New York Department of Motor Vehicles website.

Look over your right shoulder at the car behind you and gently apply the accelerator and back straight up. Stop a safe distance from the car’s front bumper and put the car in drive. Turn your steering wheel sharply toward the traffic lane, look over your left shoulder toward traffic with your foot on the brake and wait until there is no traffic approaching. Pull out of the space.

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