| Safe Driving
a line of cars parked on a hill

If you’ve been driving for a long time, you’re ready to handle most things while behind the wheel. Parallel parking? Check. Merging into traffic on a busy highway? No problem. However, depending on where you live (and drive), you might not be familiar with how to park a car on a hill. While residents in cities like Asheville, North Carolina, might be well-versed in how to handle hills, people living in low-lying, relatively flat areas might not have much practice, and that’s understandable. We’re here to offer some basic (but extremely essential) tips that will steer you in the right direction if you’re trying to learn how to park on an inclined surface.

Determine if There’s a Curb

Before you prepare to park, determine if the road you’re on has a curb or not.

Just about any resource you look at, from DriversEd.com to official government websites, will base their instructions on this one fact. Why does it matter so much? Because this will impact how you position your vehicle while parking. While it’s certainly possible to park without a curb (we’ll teach you below), having a curb is a nice security blanket should your parking brake fail.

Parking on a Hill with a Curb

Here’s how to park on a hill with a curb, step-by-step:

  1. Get your car inside the parking space: Before you can do anything else, make sure your car is in the parking space and that you and the cars around you have enough room to maneuver.
  2. Position your wheels appropriately: If you are parking while going up a hill, this means you will turn your wheels to the left, toward the road. If you are parking while going down a hill, you will turn your wheels to the right, toward the curb. By positioning the wheels in this manner, you’re giving your car, and the car’s around you, an added layer of security. If you positioned your wheels the opposite way, the car could roll into traffic if the emergency brake fails.
  3. Gently allow your car to roll until the front wheels touch the curb: By using the curb as a block, you can help prevent a disastrous scenario. If you’re going uphill, the back of your front wheels should touch the curb. If you’re going downhill, the front of your front wheels should touch the curb.
  4. Put your car in park: When your wheels are gently resting against the curb, shift your car to park (or first gear in a manual transmission).
  5. Apply the emergency brake: To make sure your vehicle doesn’t attempt to roll away, use your emergency brake.
  6. Turn off the car and exit: You did it! But before you open the door, make sure to check for any traffic. It can be hard to see traffic on hills, and you want to stay safe.

Uphill with a Curb:

Downhill with a Curb:

Parking on a Hill Without a Curb

Here’s how to park on a hill without a curb. While some things are the same, there are some key differences. So make sure to pay close attention to each step:

  1. Get your car inside the parking space: Before you can do anything else, make sure your car is in the parking space and that you and the cars around you have enough room to maneuver, exactly the same as if the road had a curb.
  2. Position your wheels appropriately: No matter if you are parking while going up or down a hill, when the road doesn’t have a curb, position your wheels away from the road. If your car does begin to roll, you want it to roll off the road, away from traffic.
  3. Put your car in park: When your car is positioned properly, put it in park (or first gear in a manual transmission).
  4. Apply the emergency brake: To make sure your vehicle doesn’t roll away, use your emergency brake. This is particularly important with no curb to help keep your car in place.
  5. Turn off the car and exit: You did it! But before you open the door, make sure to check for any traffic. It can be hard to see traffic on hills, and you want to stay safe.

Uphill Without a Curb:

Downhill Without a Curb:

Seems simple enough, right? You know what else is simple? Getting great car insurance from Direct Auto? Give us a call, visit us online, or stop by one of our conveniently located storefronts.

 

Comments

comments