The skill that leaves young drivers parking mad

RACQ Young Drivers Survey reveals reverse parallel parking to be most challenging.

Do you have nightmares about trying to successfully reverse parallel park your car?

If so, you are not alone.

The 2020 RACQ Young Drivers Survey revealed parallel parking was by far the most difficult driving skill for young drivers to master.

The manoeuvre was rated the most difficult by 50.1% of P1 and P2 licence holders compared with 40.1% of Learner drivers.

Table shows comparison between what Learner and P1/P2 drivers considered the most difficult driving skills to learn:

Difficult skills for  young drivers to learn.

RACQ Principal Technical Researcher Russell Manning said practise was the key to learning how to execute the perfect reverse parallel park.

“Reverse parallel parking is an essential manoeuvre, but even some experienced drivers seem to have difficulty with it,” Mr Manning said.

 “If you don’t get it on your first few attempts that’s OK, just restart the steps from the beginning and continue to do so until it becomes second nature.

“Learners should practise their driving manoeuvres frequently, not only so they’re ready for anything the driving examiner throws at them during the test, but also so they’re well-equipped to drive on their own as P-platers,” Mr Manning said.

The annual online survey found P1 and P2 drivers were much more comfortable merging in traffic with only 2.9% rating it the most difficult skill to learn compared with 13.4% of Learners.

Right-angle reverse parking was most difficult for 11.5% of Learners and 10% of P1s and P2s while negotiating a hill start in a manual car was considered most difficult for 11.5% of Learners and 8.5% of P1s and P2s.

The proportion of respondents who are car owners has dropped significantly from the 2019 survey, down from 78.2% to 69.8%.

For those that do own a car, the average price they paid for their first vehicle was $7358.

The average age of first cars was 10 years in 2020 compared with 11.5 years in 2019.

There is a continued upward trend in the number of people learning to drive mainly in automatic cars – 79% in 2020 compared with 74% in 2019 and 66.5% in 2018.

The annual Young Drivers Survey provides RACQ with data on a range of issues and concerns relating to young drivers on Queensland roads.

The survey was completed by 756 people aged 16-24 in late 2020.

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