The state of Maryland recently announced that it would be dropping the parallel parking requirement from their behind-the-wheel driver’s license test. After evaluating the skills test, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration has determined that requiring drivers to demonstrate a 2-point reverse turn would suffice. Parallel parking will still be included in the state’s driver’s education course curriculum. Maryland joins a number of other states, including California, Oregon, and Florida, that don’t require students to successfully parallel park as part of their road test. We assume that Maryland will also be a great place to open up a fender repair shop.
If you’re getting ready to take your road test for your Maryland driver’s license, the headline of this post probably made you happy. We empathize. After all, parallel parking can be tricky to master, and having to demonstrate it, with the fate of your driving future hanging in the balance, can be a bit nerve-wracking. But we firmly believe that parallel parking is a skill that every driver should possess, and that it should be part of your driver’s education course, even if it’s not on The Test.
We could go on at length about why it’s important to know how to parallel park: doing it properly can prevent damage to your car as well as others’, in some cases you won’t have any option BUT to parallel park (especially if you live in or travel to urban areas), and there’s no better way to develop precise vehicle control and maneuvering skills. Sometimes, however, it’s better to show than to tell. We think that this video presents a very compelling reason for you to know how to parallel park. (It’s in Russian, but you’ll get the point.)
So we encourage you to put in the time and master the art of parallel parking. Not knowing how to do it properly can make you a YouTube star in the worst possible way. But if you happen to get really, really good at it…
(DISCLAIMER: Kids, don’t try this at home. And if you want to learn how to parallel park in a Mini – we’re talking actual, practical parallel parking techniques, not those depicted below – check out the Behind-The-Wheel courses offered by our Behind-the-Wheel division, DriversEd.com.)