WATCH: Helpless van driver struggles to reverse out of narrow street; saved by good samaritans

Video screengrab

We’ve all been there — those of us who drive, anyway. Trying to get free from some teeny tiny parking space where all the obstacles — the sidewalk, the road divider, the other cars — are angled just so that you are perfectly stuck.

So frustrating, so confounding, so embarrassing. But that didn’t stop us from staring at this driver trying to free himself and his van from a parking pickle earlier this week.

The solo driver found himself and his vehicle stuck on a narrow street in Singapore, despite reversing and then re-angling himself over and over to no avail. A video of the three and a half minute ordeal was posted on Marfino Nora’s Facebook page, so now you too can feel this guy’s pain.

When the video begins, the protagonist has already arranged his van perpendicular to the flow of traffic, with the length of the van spanning both lanes. Let’s just say his fellow travelers are not pleased about traffic being totally blocked in both directions.

It looks like he should be able to make an easy U-turn, but it was not to be. Every time he turned his steering wheel a few degrees in an attempt to shimmy through the tight passage, either his wheels bump into the lane divider or he simply cannot see well enough from his perspective whether he has enough space. He reverses, he goes forward, he hesitates, he bumps, he turns, he reverses again. Offscreen, a voice can be heard lamenting about the van driver’s (lack of) skills.

But finally, Mr. Van-man gets a little help from some new friends, and that’s the lesson we want to take away from this otherwise useless challenge fate put in this driver’s path.

Two other motorists who got tired of waiting to pass through the road themselves took pity on the unfortunate fellow. One man offered to get behind the wheel of the van, but the poor driver ignored the comment and tried to get out of his predicament by himself.

Seeing the things he couldn’t, good Samaritans instructed him how far to reverse and how much to turn his wheel. Turns out that sometimes, the person standing outside the situation has a more useful perspective. Who knew?

Eventually, a little teamwork got the van on its way. No tow-truck required.


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