The Geometry of Perfect Parking by Simon R. Blackburn

Blackburn's formula does this by sketching the arc of your car's turning capability into a full circle, then using the center of the circle to create the right-angle triangles Pythagoras loved.

That's a lot of work just to tell you if you have enough space for an easy park. And it doesn't tell you how to do the parking. That's something you have to learn by doing, which is how most people figure out whether they have enough space to park in the first place. Devlin says that behind all that guessing, math is at work.

"Mathematics gives you a way of understanding in detail what people have learned to do simply by practice and expertise," he says.

"In fact, when we practice something, be it on the athletic field or in an automobile, we are becoming very good mathematicians at doing a particular kind of operation," Devlin says. "But usually we don't call it mathematics — and we certainly don't give people a pass on the math test because they can park their car."

How to Park Perfectly

**Parallel Steering**