A PLAGUE of parking phobias is blighting the skills and confidence of UK drivers, according to the AA Driving School.
Parallel parking is causing drivers across the country to doubt their skills, with one in six (16pc) saying they’re not confident with the manoeuvre.
An AA Driving School survey found that 19pc of motorists have changed plans because they couldn’t park in available spaces.*
There is a big gender split in the figure, with a surprising 25pc of female drivers saying they lack the confidence to parallel park, compared to 11pc of men.
A quarter of all drivers also say they have blacklisted roads where they find parking manoeuvres too hard. And nearly a third of drivers (29pc) have blacklisted certain car parks for the same reason.
Jim Kirkwood, managing director of AA Driving School, says: “Parking problems are causing a needless headache for a big proportion of UK drivers.
“Avoiding certain roads and car parks because you don’t think you have the skills to park in them – let alone changing plans at the last minute after a parking drama – highlight a skills gap that can easily be addressed.
“Drivers should not feel they are beyond help – most people can overcome their driving problems with a little professional tuition and guidance.”
The AA Charitable Trust offers free ‘Drive Confident’ courses to qualified drivers who think their skills are rusty, or who need a confidence boost. A fully qualified AA Driving School instructor will help address any driving problem – from parking, to roundabouts, or a fear of motorways. To apply for a course visit the AA Charitable Trust website.
Parallel parking tips:
Line up parallel to the next car against the kerb, about two feet away, slightly forward of it
Reverse in a straight line till the backs are lined up
Steer half a turn left (steering wheel upside down)
Continue until 45º to kerb; about six inches away
Steer quickly to a full lock right
* Populus interviewed 20,073 adults aged 18+ on the AA/Populus online panel between 27 September and 4 October 2012. Populus www.populus.co.uk is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.