Thursday, September 14, 2017

How to Park on a Hill

Being able to park your car is an essential skill that all drivers need, considering that this is the final step when you arrive at your destination. When parking on a flat surface, you will likely drive into a space without thinking about the effect that gravity has on your car. Even though your car is obviously pulled to the floor, this effect is negligible when on a flat surface. However, when parking on a hill, gravity becomes a factor that affects the way you park your car. Here are three scenarios that you may find yourself in while parking on a hill.

1. Parking Downhill

While parking on a hill, you will first want to pull into a parking space as you would on a flat surface. Next, determine whether you are parking uphill or downhill. If you are parking downhill, turn your steering wheel all the way to the right. Then, lightly let go of the brake until the front of your right tire makes contact with the curb. The purpose of this is to prevent your car from rolling downhill if your car's brakes fail. At that point gravity would pull your car downhill, but rather than crashing into another car or injuring pedestrians, your car would be blocked by the curb instead. The last steps are to change the gear to park, set the parking brake, and turn your car off.

2. Parking Uphill

The initial procedures are are identical to those made in "Parking Downhill".  However, since you are parking uphill, you will now turn your steering wheel all the way to the left instead. Then, lightly let go of the brake until the back of your right tire makes contact with the curb. The purpose of this is to use the curb to block your car if your car's brakes fail. This will prevent gravity from pulling your car downhill and possibly hurting someone or crashing into another vehicle. You will then proceed to the last steps, which are the same as before.

3. Parking Uphill or Downhill Without A Curb

To begin, you will complete the same first step as in "Parking Downhill". Next, turn your steering wheel all the way to the right regardless of whether you are parking downhill or uphill. In this scenario, you do not need to determine the direction that you are parking because there is no curb to block your car. In the event that your car's brakes fail, your car will be pulled downhill by gravity. However, your car will always roll away from traffic, avoiding collisions with other cars. Finally, complete the same last steps from the previous scenarios.


  1. This blog about parking downhill or up-hill and, especially, without any curbs, sure does help someone who has little or no knowledge in those circumstances. As a fellow motorist to the millions of other drivers in this city, parking is a challenge we all undergo commonly. I have been driving for over a decade, and I am amazed how people pass the driving test but have no knowledge of parking requirements. This blog is fairly informative but I would suggest to proof-read the material before posting it. I also propose to avoid repeating the same points over and over such as, “change the gear to park and turn your car off”. Finally, as an amiable person I would say that this blog is perfect for educating other drivers about many challenges of driving, and one of them being parking on hills and without curbs.

  2. Thank you for your observations and suggestions Simon. I have revised my blog while taking your comments into consideration.

  3. I learned most of this in driving school, except what to do when there is no curb. By the way, there's another reason you should learn this technique, in some neighborhoods you can get a ticket if you fail to turn your wheels. I did!