Imagine pulling into that primo parking spot at your favorite restaurant. You haven’t eaten much today, so you’re very eager to get out of the car and begin your feast. You jump out of the car like it’s on fire and rush inside to grab a table. But wait — did you apply the parking brake? Did you at least remember to turn your steering wheel towards the curb? Or is it away from the curb?
Step by Step of Hill Parking
- Once nestled into that parking space, shift the car into neutral while keeping your foot on the brake. Assess what angle your car is parked. Is it downhill or uphill? For downhill parking, adjust your steering wheel so that your wheels are towards the curb. If you are parked uphill, turn your wheels to face away from the curb. Turning your wheel in the appropriate direction will help prevent your car from rolling into traffic should the emergency brake malfunction.
- Release a little pressure off the brake pedal and allow the car to roll slowly until the tire gently touches the curb.
- Shift the car into park.
- Turn the ignition off.
- Next, set your emergency brake. The emergency brake is your first line of defense to ensure your car remains safe when parked on or down slopes and hills.
- Make sure you have your keys with you and lock the doors once you have exited the vehicle.
- When you are ready to leave, place your foot on the brake and apply pressure. Turn the car on. Ensure your wheels are facing the correct direction to enter back on the road. Disengage the emergency brake. Shift into drive. Then, check your mirrors, let off the brake, accelerate slowly and proceed forward.
Quick Recap: Which Way Should Your Wheels Face When Parking on a Hill?
If your parking brake fails, this particular task could save lives and property. Identify whether you are parked uphill or downhill and if there is a curb.
Downhill: Turn your wheel to the right, towards the curb.
Uphill: Turn your wheel to the left, away from the curb.
No curb: If you are positioned uphill and there isn’t a curb, turn the wheel to the right.
Always Take Extra Care When Parking on or Down a Hill
Stay alert, scan ahead, and slow down. Take your time parking to ensure each step is properly adhered to. As a motorist, it is our responsibility to operate vehicles safely and in a sensible manner. Consider taking an online refresher driving course to stay current with law changes and best driving practices.
Interested in learning more? Click here to check out our full list of Top Driver safe driving tips.