Is it possible for me to put my car in park while I’m moving?

The other day when I was driving I started wondering what would happen if I were to shift my car into park without stopping. Since I thought it might be dangerous, I figured that I should ask before trying it myself.

Sean Boehme · Updated on
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
We’re so glad you took the time to ask before experimenting for yourself. Putting your car in park while driving can be both dangerous and expensive!
When you shift your car into park, your parking pawl will activate. This is the part of your car that locks up your transmission so that your car doesn’t go anywhere. If you try to do this while still moving, the following might occur:
  • Your parking pawl could be damaged
  • Your transmission could be damaged
  • You’ll put yourself and other drivers at risk
If you need to replace your parking pawl, the cost will come out to somewhere around $500. If you need to replace your transmission, you’ll be looking at a cost upwards of $2,000.
Most modern cars have safety measures to prevent you from putting your car in park while driving at fast speeds. If you’re going slow, it might be possible to shift into park, but it’s still likely to damage either your parking pawl or your transmission.
If you drive an older car, there probably isn’t any safety measure to prevent you from shifting into park while driving. So for the safety of yourself and other drivers, make sure you come to a complete stop before putting your car into park.
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Jerry partners with more than 50 insurance companies, but our content is independently researched, written, and fact-checked by our team of editors and agents. We aren’t paid for reviews or other content.

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