10 Biggest Parking Mistakes - Avoid It
Posted on March 12, 2021
If we think back to our driving school days, parking was always a challenge that intimidated plenty of us as young and new drivers. However, fast forward to present day, and hectic commutes, impulsive road trips and stressful city traffic mean that even experienced motorists can sometimes experience a parking fail. That’s right, parking mistakes take place at every stage of life, and have a tendency to rear their ugly heads when we are rushed or battling the urban roads. Fortunately, we have curated a list of 10 major parking mistakes to avoid, as you drive home in a new CarHub vehicle. You’ll thank us when you avoid a dreaded parking ticket- or even worse, a dangerous accident.
1. Parking in a disabled parking spot:
Disabled zones exist so that individuals with disabilities and special needs can have access to safe, fair and accessible parking while out in public. If you do not fit the parameters of having a disability, you certainly should not be taking a parking space from someone in that group. Be kind, be a good citizen and remember to park only where you are permitted in parking lots.
Have a look at this super cool gif, which we found online at driving-tests.org, which offers a visual peek at the art of parallel parking.
2. Parallel parking incorrectly:
Parallel parking is an art in itself, and a driving skill which takes many of us years to perfect. If you live in a fast-paced downtown core or even a busy suburban area, you will find yourself parallel parking on city streets quite frequently. Parallel parking (parking your car in line with other cars at the side of the road) involves finding the right fit. First, scope out the scene and ensure that there is enough room to safely park (without causing an accident). Next, reverse your car, drive slowly toward the curb and then straighten your wheels and line yourself up. Be sure to ease into that parking spot, and avoid parking hastily or aggressively. If you would like a closer look at the Ontario government’s recommendations for effective and safe parallel parking, take a look at these instructions from MTO.
3. Parking too close to a fire hydrant:
You simply don’t want to get too close to a fire hydrant while you’re parking, and here’s why. According to Ontario rules, you cannot park within three metres of a fire hydrant. Asides from facing a possible $100 fine, parking near a hydrant also poses a safety threat, as it can prevent firefighters from having access to this essential zone.
4. Improperly parking too close to another vehicle:
You don’t want to get TOO close to your neighbour when it comes to the art of parking, especially if you’re trying to avoid accidents and insurance claims. Always keep a distance between your vehicle and the one in the parking spot next to you. Even if you drive into the lot safely and park safely, damage to neighbouring vehicles (such as scratches and dents when opening your doors to exit your ride) can still happen if you’re too close.
5. Allowing your parking meter to run out:
We all know that parking meters are strict with their timing and you certainly don’t want your meter to run out. To avoid a ticket, top up your parking meter if that meeting, grocery run or appointment is taking longer than you expected.
6. Not paying attention to street parking bylaws:
Street parking bylaws are there to enforce times when you can and cannot park on a particular street. Be sure to pay attention to these rules, unless you want to risk the stress of potentially having your vehicle towed.
During snowy weather conditions, winter regulations kick in regarding street parking. The PlowTo map (which is available online at toronto.ca) allows you to track real time locations of plows, sidewalk plows and salt trucks in the city. You can view online to see which locations are cleared of snow and available for safe driving and parking. When a major snow storm takes place in the City of Toronto, certain roads that are designated as snow routes will be temporarily banned for parking. This ban is in effect for 72 hours (or longer), while the city tackles the snow removal process.
Also, did you know that Toronto has a number of street parking bylaws in effect which may not even be posted? According to the City of Toronto, the following are all considered parking offences:
- Park longer than 3 hours
- Park more than 30 cm from a curb
- Park vehicle for sale
- Park obstruct driveway/laneway
- Park within 3 metres of a fire hydrant
- Park within 9 metres of an intersecting highway
- Park taxi cab for hire-unauthorized location
- Park on a boulevard
- Park between 2:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m. Dec 1 to Mar 31 each year in the former North York ONLY (TMC 950, Traffic and Parking), Section 950-400D(9)
- Stop on/over sidewalk/footpath
- Stop roadside (parked/stopped) vehicle
- Park left wheels to curb
- Stop within intersection
- Stop within 9 metres of crosswalk
- Stop on a bridge
- Stop on centre strip
7. Not double checking before parking in your driveway:
If you have young children or pets, you probably have become good at checking your driveway when you reverse and get ready to leave home. However, checking before you roll into your driveway is just as important. Tiny paws and little feet have the tendency to appear when they are least expected, and accidents can happen even in the relative safety of your own property.
8. Parking too close to moving traffic:
If you are too close to other vehicles that are in motion, you are posing a threat to yourself and to other cars on the road. Make sure you are parking a distance away from busy streets, parking lots or highways, as safety always comes first. Also, according to the MTO Driver’s Handbook, you cannot do the following:
- Never park on the travelled part of a road. Drive off the road onto the shoulder if you must stop for some reason.
- Never park on a curve, hill or anywhere you do not have a clear view for at least 125 metres in both directions.
- Do not park where you will block a vehicle already parked or where you will block a sidewalk, crosswalk, pedestrian crossing or road entrance.
- Do not park within three metres of a fire hydrant, on or within 100 metres of a bridge or within six metres of a public entrance to a hotel, theatre or public hall when it is open to the public.
- Do not park within nine metres of an intersection or within 15 metres if it is controlled by traffic lights.
- Do not park within 15 metres of the nearest rail of a level railway crossing.
- Do not park where you will get in the way of traffic or snow clearing.
- Never open the door of your parked vehicle without first making sure that you will not endanger any other person or vehicle or interfere with traffic.
9. Accidentally reversing the car instead of parking:
We may think that this is a teen driver mistake which we are far above and beyond, but on days when we are preoccupied with thoughts or otherwise distracted, this is an easy (yet possibly fatal) parking faux pas to make. Make sure you’re putting the car into “P” instead of “R”, as you don’t want to slide backward in reverse (or cause any unneeded damage to an automatic transmission).
10. Failing to notice when it’s time for brake repairs:
Is your parking brake in need of an emergency fix? We recommend contacting our trusty and friendly Service department here at CarHub to take care of any car maintenance issues that could prevent you from parking effectively.
Remember to drive safely- and park even more safely! We hope you enjoy your new CarHub wheels.