Can't park to save your life?
Of all the things I’m not very good at, parking a vehicle, and especially a little sports car with limited outward visibility or a great big pickup, is the most entertaining to watch if you’re standing nearby.
“Hey, Pritchard! Nice parking job! Aren't you supposed to be a professional, or something?”
My friends mock me often, and vigorously, when I arrive for nightly coffee and back into my parking space, sometimes halfway over one line and on a bit of an angle.
I've been called many things, but professional parker isn't one of them.
“Back-up camera is on crooked, I think,” I often reply, laughing outwardly, but feeling self-conscious inside for an hour or more.
Numerous factors at play, here. I drive a Dodge Viper between press cars, which is impossible to park properly since it’s absurdly shaped, long, wide, and has you sitting virtually on the rear wheels. Plus, I’m not a visual person and apparently, as my father said during my mid-teen driving lessons, parking is all about visualizing where you want to be, which my brain doesn't do.
And, driving no fewer than three or four different vehicles every month means your writer never gets a comfort zone with the vehicle’s steering, size, shape or outward visibility required for confident parking. Or, by time I do, I the car in question is due to be returned.
So, over the years, I've come to gather a mental list of systems, features, technologies and even entire vehicles, which by various means, make parking easier for the parking-challenged masses, of which, sadly, I count myself. Of course, not all of these systems are perfect, but some are pretty darn good indeed.
Here’s a closer look.+Justin Pritchard