This skill is much easier said than done—I have seen so many students struggle with this. When you are beginning to learn how to drive, it can be hard to determine how much of the front of your car is going towards the curb before hitting it. This will take many hours of practice and trial and error to get it correctly.
Your examiner will typically ask you to “please pull over and park in front of that car” or “please pull over behind this vehicle.”
Your first step is to signal right to let other drivers know about your intention. When you signal, make sure you do it in a timely manner. Make sure you are clear and you mean what you say. Don’t turn on your signal and then turn it off right after or signal the wrong direction as you can confuse the drivers behind you.
As you are signalling, slow down and check your rear view mirror. Shoulder check over your right shoulder to make sure there are no cyclists.
Start to smoothly and gradually pull closer to the curb. This will take a lot of practice because again it’s very hard for new students to determine if they are close or far from the curb. The right side mirror is extremely helpful but it can also work against you.
The right mirror is most useful when you are determining if you are close enough to the curb. (Ideally, door handles need to appear like they’re kissing the curb.) By law drivers need to be within 30 cm or 1 foot of the curb. The right mirror is also extremely helpful when helping us determine if we are parallel.
That said, the mirror is also your worst enemy when you are at an angle leaning towards the curb because you can easily get confused and think you are too far when in fact you are really close in the front. (That is, the back of your car is far but the front of your car is close.)
When you are finally parallel with the curb and within 30 cm or 1 foot of the curb, then put the car in Neutral to test if you’re on a hill, and then park the car. Don’t forget to pull the E-brake up.
As always, work closely with your driving instructor or supervisor to practice this until you get really good because, as I mentioned already, you will be asked to pull over between 3 and 5 times on the test.
With each pull over, you might be asked to do one of the following 5 things:
1) Identify hazards.
2) Open your door safely.
3) Back up in a straight line.
4) Identify uphill.
5) Identify downhill.
The examiner might combine some of these and test you on the same pull over. For example, they could ask you to pull over and park. The spot you parked at could be downhill (so make sure you turn your wheel to the right) and they could ask you to identify hazards. Or, you could be somewhere uphill (wheel left) and you might be asked to demonstrate how to open your door safely.
Either way, don’t miss these little details as they can add up against you.
Please feel free to reach out to us at SenSen Driving School if you have any questions or concerns. We would be more than happy to assist you.
Drive Safe. Drive Smart. Drive with Confidence.