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How to deal with parked cars - look OUT! Over, Under, Through!

Also look out for any movement in the parked cars that may suggest a door is about to open. Check that there is no-one walking out between the cars, and that there are not any brake lights or indicators on, or anything else that suggests a parked vehicle is about to pull away.

 

 

If you are in the process of going through (photo above) and you haven't got any reaction from the approaching cars, or the gap is getting too small, SLOW DOWN ! . Often you will find that if there are a number of oncoming vehicles, that the first one moves over to let you through, but some of the following ones don't. The natural instinct sometimes is to accelerate to get through more quickly, and out of the way. Generally this is a bad idea, because you just end up accelerating at what you're trying to avoid. Never accelerate into a closing gap!  Slowing down gives everyone more time to react.

Once you have slowed down, move gently to your left. Remember the adage "less space- less speed". So the tighter the gap, the slower you need to go. If you need to get within about half a metre to the door mirrors of the parked cars, you should be down to walking pace. Any closer means that you need to stop and wait. If you pull into a gap in-between parked cars, only move to the left as much as necessary to let the oncoming vehicles through. The further you pull in, the harder it is to get back out again!

On a left bend bend try to get into the overtaking position, parallel to the centre line and the parked cars, much earlier than you would normally - Early position, early view!. On a right hand bend it is probably better to stay in to the left for longer than usual so that you can see further around the bend.

Once you have passed the cars you may check your left mirror before pulling back in - but only do this if there is not another vehicle approaching. If the gap is narrowing you want to be looking at the oncoming car, not in your left mirror.

 

Parked cars on the other side of the road:
The same process should be going through the mind of the driver approaching you. However there are a number of drivers out there that will just force their way through. If you find one of these aiming at you, you will have to take evasive action such as braking, or pulling over to the left sharply. If you don't react they will just drive into you! Beware of white van man!

 

Parked cars on both sides of the road:
When there is parked cars on both sides of the road there is no clear right of way. Usually the first one into the gap has control over the situation, as the oncoming vehicle would end up blocking the road if they pulled in. If you are first in the gap, hold your position, and watch for any hint that the oncoming traffic is willing to slow down and let you through. Slow down, or stop, if necessary. You shouldn't force anyone coming the other way to stop, but you can encourage them to volunteer to stop!

 

 

  

Teaching people to drive for over 30 years! Professional driving lessons with Alan J Barker BA DSA ADI.
Covering Hockley, Rayleigh, Rochford, & Hullbridge areas