Car Safety: Parking Uphill and Downhill
Brush up on your parking and car safety skills with these steps and strategies.
How to Park Uphill
Parking on a hill may look challenging but it can be done. When you need to park uphill with a curb, turn your wheels to the left so the front right tire will be against the curb to prevent the vehicle from potentially rolling forwards or backwards.
If you’re parking uphill with a curb, The Ministry of Ontario Transportation recommends setting the parking brake and moving the gear selector into park if your vehicle has an automatic transmission or shift into first or reverse gear if your vehicle has a manual transmission. It’s also a good idea to turn your steering wheel, so you can turn your vehicle’s wheels with power steering as a safety precaution in case the brakes fail. This way, if your vehicle’s emergency brakes stopped working, your vehicle would roll into the curb instead of the road.
Next, turn off the engine and remove the key. Be sure to check for other cars and cyclists, before opening the door and remember to lock your vehicle afterwards.
How to Park Downhill
If you are going to park downhill, pull into the spot you intend to park in. Turn your front tires toward the curb or right shoulder. This will help stop the vehicle from rolling. If the road has a curb, use it as a support system for your tires to rest against.
How to Exit From a Parking Spot on a Hill
The first step when leaving an uphill or downhill parking spot is to apply the brakes and switch off the emergency brake. Put on your seatbelt and check your mirrors and blind spots for any oncoming vehicles or cyclists. Lightly step on the gas and drive slowly out of your spot.
For more parking tips read our How to Prevent Parking Lot Accidents and What to Do in a Hit-and-Run Parking Lot Situation blog posts. Brush up on your defensive driving skills with our complete Defensive Driving Primer.