While parking on a hill comes with its own set of safety issues, so does parking on level ground. You may be intimidated the first few times you park on a decline or incline, but with practice it will come naturally. There are a few particulars to watch for, just as there are for parking in any space, whether parallel, street, or angled parking.
However, the risk of rolling is a bigger concern on a hill than in a normal space. There are a few things you can do when learning how to park on a hill that can lower the chances of this happening.
How to park your car on an incline
Step 1: Turn your tires. Before turning off your car’s ignition, make sure to turn your tires.
If you are parked facing downhill, turn your front wheels so they are facing the curb or the side of the road.
If you are parked facing uphill, turn them so they are facing away from the curb or in the direction that would force the car to roll onto the side of the road.
By doing this, if your parking brake malfunctions, your car will not roll into the roadway.
Step 2: Shift into first gear or Park. Once you are done pulling your car properly into the parking space, make sure to shift into first gear.
If you are driving an automatic transmission, shift into Park. You increase your chances of rolling if you leave your car in a neutral position.
Many cars with automatic transmissions will not let you remove your key if your gear is not in the Park position.
Step 3: Set the parking brake. Set your parking or emergency brake. Doing so greatly reduces your car’s risk of rolling when parked on a decline or incline.
It’s not fool-proof, so make sure you still place your car in first gear or in the park position. Some people have been known to use tire chocks if they are going to be parked on a hill for an extended period of time.
- Note: The use of the chocks should never replace the use of the parking brake.
Step 4: Exiting a parking space on a hill. Always apply your regular brake before taking your car out of first gear or park. Then release your parking or emergency brake. With your foot on your brake, you can start the car.
This will prevent it from rolling while you get ready to exit your parking space. Since it is harder for other cars to see you moving when you are parked on a hill, make sure you look carefully for oncoming cars.
Use your mirrors as well as turn your head to look. Make sure no one is behind your car because if you are not used to parking on hills you may slide back an inch or three when pulling out.
When you park on a hill, you should use extra caution and safety measures. It may seem tedious at the time, but these precautions can save injury and damages to other people and vehicles. We tend to forget that cars can be dangerous things if not handled correctly. However, by setting your car in gear, using your parking brake and turning your tires, you can significantly decrease the chances of your car rolling out its space.