Perils Of Parallel Parking [Daily Game]

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Easily, the biggest challenge of passing the driver’s test in the state of Pennsylvania where I grew up, is the parking assessment.

My father taught me to drive, and made sure that I could park, teaching me to first align my vehicle with the car in front of the spot, then get the “ass” of the car into the spot, finally straightening the front wheels as I settled into the spot.

The way the PA driving test was set up, back then at least, was that the tester in charge sat in the passenger seat and directed you to drive around the surrounding area a bit, and when pulling back into the parking lot, you parallel park between orange cones. Failing the parking element of the test was the downfall of many would-be licensed drivers in the 1990s (I passed on the first try; though I’d needed to take the written test twice— go figure).

I don’t know how the driving test is set up in Florida, but I don’t think there’s a parking aspect.

People parallel park here as if they were never taught how to parallel park. It makes sense, I guess, as Florida has a lot open space, parking lots and garages; spaces where you can drive in and drive out. Streets are wider and more spacious; the need to parallel park is much less prevalent than in tight-spaced and street-parking-heavy Philly, where a driver’s ability to parallel park is the difference between getting to your destination now and 15 more minutes of riding around looking for a suitable spot.

For Your Game

  1. The skills needed to survive and be “good enough” in one place can be completely different from the skills needed in another place, even for the exact same activity.

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