Why Do I Keep Hitting Curbs? How to Avoid It When Parking

why do i keep hitting curbs

We’ve all been there—making that sharp turn while trying to park, and hearing the thud of the car hitting a rolled curb. Right now, you may be experiencing a mix of emotions because of this, but we want you to know that you’re doing fine.

Accidentally hitting curbs is normal, and the urgency to learn how to avoid this in the future reflects positively on you as a driver.

But why does this happen in the first place?

Well, hitting curbs is often a result of misjudging turns, being too close to the curb, or not considering the vehicle’s rear wheel track.

Although there are other factors to consider, the ones we just mentioned are the most likely causes.

If you want to know more about the causes and how you can avoid hitting curbs in the future, then let’s read further down this article.

What are the Reasons Why I Keep Hitting Curbs?

a worried driver

Here are the most probable causes of why you keep hitting those dang curbs.

Turning Too Soon or Too Late

One of the most common reasons for hitting the curb is turning too soon or too late. Often, those who experience this are new drivers.

Being Too Close to the Curb

If you start your turn while you’re too close to the curb, the chassis of your car might cut over the sidewalk or corner, causing the rear wheels to bump up against the curb.

Not Accounting for the Rear Wheels

an image of the rear side of a car

The rear wheels of a vehicle do not follow the same track as the front wheels, especially when turning a corner or rounding a curve.

This is particularly true for trucks and SUVs, but it can also occur with cars. Failing to account for the difference in the tracks of the front and rear wheels can easily lead to the rear wheels hitting the curb.

Lack of Practice

a driver that's thinking

Driving is a skill honed over time, with practice being a key component. A lack of practice can lead to misjudging distances and timings when making turns, resulting in hitting the curb.

Vehicle Type

The type of vehicle you’re driving can also play a role. Trucks and SUVs, for example, have a different turning radius than smaller cars, which can make it more challenging to avoid hitting the curb.

How to Stop Hitting Curbs When Parking

an image of a stop sign

Now that we’ve identified the common reasons why you might be hitting curbs, let’s address how you can avoid making these mistakes when parking.

Tip #1: Adjust Your Turning Points

One of the most common mistakes is turning too soon or too late. Practice finding the right turning point by observing when your mirror crosses the curb line.

This will help you make a smoother turn without hitting the curb.

Tip #2: Give Yourself Enough Space

Being too close to the curb when you start your turn can cause you to bump into it.

Make sure to give yourself enough room by starting your turn from the left side of your lane, rather than close to the curb.

This will give you more turning radius and help you avoid hitting the curb with your rear wheels.

Tip #3: Practice, Practice, Practice

A driver who is conducting a driving test and steering wheel check

As with any skill, practice is key.

Use cones or other markers in an empty parking lot to simulate a curb and practice parking without hitting the markers. This will help you develop a sense of how close you can get without hitting the curb.

Tip #4: Use Technology to Your Advantage

An image from the car's rear-view camera

If your car has a backup camera or parking sensors, use them to your advantage. These tools can help you gauge how close you are to the curb and other obstacles.

Tip #5: Understand Your Vehicle’s Turning Radius

Different vehicles have different turning radii.

Make sure to understand how your vehicle turns and how the rear wheels follow the front wheels. This knowledge will help you judge how close you can get to the curb without hitting it.

Tip #6: Use Reference Points

Find reference points on your car that line up with the curb when you are parked correctly. This can be a specific point on your car’s hood or using a small piece of tape on the window as a marker.

Tip #7: Slow Down and Take Your Time

Take your time when parking. Going slowly gives you more control and time to adjust your position as needed.

Tip #8: Ask for Help

a person being taught how to drive

If you are having trouble parking, don’t be afraid to ask for help. A friend or family member can guide you into the spot until you feel more confident.

Tip #9: Consider Aftermarket Solutions

There are aftermarket solutions available, such as curb feelers, that can help you avoid hitting the curb. These devices provide feedback when you are getting too close to the curb.

Investing in a driveway curb ramp like the Smooth Curb – Driveway Curb Ramp, can also significantly reduce the likelihood of hitting the curb.

Although they are typically used to provide a smooth transition between the road and your driveway, curb ramps can also act as a visual guide to help you gauge the distance from the curb, reducing your chances of hitting it while parking.


By following the tips we just mentioned and practicing regularly, you’ll be able to avoid hitting curbs and park with confidence.

Here at Smooth Curb, we advocate awareness of what curbs can do to you and your vehicle.

You should not only learn the proper parking know-how, but also understand that curbs can cause damage, giving you another reason to avoid hitting them.

Our blog provides a range of useful topics, from identifying different types of curbs to understanding the various ways they can damage your vehicle. We’ve got it all covered.

So remember, everyone makes mistakes, and that’s perfectly okay.

Unfortunate things happen from time to time, but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from them.

Over time, you’ll grow from these experiences, and this dilemma will become a distant memory, something you’ll look back on when faced with similar scenarios in the future.

So again, just keep practicing, seek help when needed, and know that Smooth Curb is here to help you with your curb-related worries.

Stay safe! 

What is a curb feeler, and how can it help me avoid hitting the curb?

A curb feeler is a device that is attached to the side of a vehicle and makes contact with the curb before the car does, providing feedback to the driver. It can be a helpful tool in avoiding curb damage to your vehicle, especially for new drivers or those who are not familiar with their vehicle’s dimensions.

How do backup cameras and parking sensors work?

Backup cameras provide a view of what’s behind your vehicle, while parking sensors use ultrasonic sensors to detect obstacles and provide auditory or visual feedback to the driver. These tools can be extremely helpful in avoiding curbs, other vehicles, and any other obstacles while parking.

How do I know if my vehicle’s turning radius is affecting my ability to park without hitting the curb?

If you find that you are consistently hitting the curb with your rear wheels, it could be a sign that your vehicle has a wide turning radius. You can adjust your parking technique to accommodate this by giving yourself more room to make the turn.

What should I do if I hit a curb while parking?

If you hit a curb while parking, check your vehicle for any damage. If there is damage, you may need to contact your insurance company or take your vehicle to a mechanic for repairs. Practice parking in a safe, open area to improve your skills and prevent hitting curbs in the future.

Are there any specific parking techniques that can help me avoid hitting the curb?

Yes, practicing parallel parking and angle parking in an empty parking lot with cones or other markers can help you develop the skills needed to park without hitting the curb. Additionally, using reference points on your vehicle can help you judge how close you are to the curb.

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