How to Park a Car on A Steep Road

August 27, 2021

As an inexperienced driver still learning the ropes, parking on a plain parking lot may still be a problem, so parking on a steep road may be out of your thoughts right now. But at some point in your driving career, and for one reason or another, you will have to park your car on a steep road so you might as well learn how to do it now.

By the way, parking a car on a steep road can be part of your road test if you are yet to get your driving license. In short, knowing or not knowing the procedure can determine whether you pass the road test or not. We are going to show you how to pass a road test involving how to park on a steep hill.

By a steep road, we also mean hills, hence this procedure is also about how to park your car on a steep hill. Some people park on hills often because that is they live around hilly places. But if you don’t, you will find it a daunting task the first time you have to park on a steep road or a hill.

Again, remember that this is one task that can have really bad consequences when done wrongly. The greatest danger in parking on a steep road is that your car may give in to gravity and run downhill by itself!

You do not want your car to ride itself downhill in your absence. Apart from the car damaging itself while rolling downhill, it can seriously injure other road users and destroy properties along its path. Therefore, you should take preventive steps so that you do not cause accidents.

So how do you safely park on a steep hill or road?

First, the question is: does the steep road have a curb? How you park on a steep road with a curb is different from how you do it on one without.

How to Park On A Steep Road or Hill with a Curb

If the steep road has a curb, the better. All you have to do now is park the right way, depending on what point of the road or hill you want the car to face. It can be either uphill or downhill parking.

i. Parking uphill

If you are to park uphill and you have found an ideal parking spot, you should pull into parallel parking and then:

  • Turn the front wheels away from the curb.
  • Back up slightly until the tires touch the curb.
  • Turn the shift into Parking mode and turn off the engine.
  • Engage your emergency brake.
  • After you return, remember to disengage the emergency brake before turning on the ignition key.

Why should you turn the front wheels away from the curb when parking uphill? This is meant to prevent the car from rolling back (downhill or into traffic) should your brakes fail.

ii. Parking Downhill

As with the uphill parking, you should start with parallel parking once you have found a good spot. After that:

  • Turn the car’s front wheels towards the curb.
  • Let the car move forward a bit so that the front tires touch the curb.
  • Shift the car into Parking mode.
  • Apply the emergency brake.

How Do You Park On A Hill Or Steep Road Without A Curb?

You will not always get a curb wherever you want to park, so you should prepare for the no-curb scenario. First, do not panic if that is the case. All you have to do is to follow this procedure:

  • Pull into the open spot.
  • Have your wheels facing the side of the road. This is to prevent your car from rolling into oncoming traffic should the brakes fail. Instead, it will roll into the roadside.
  • Engage the emergency brakes.

Should You Park Uphill Or Downhill When Parking A Steep Road?

Contrary to what some people say, the direction your car faces will not affect its performance. Again, it is also not true that parking on a steep road drains your car battery faster, and you can find a dead battery if you park on a steep road for long.

However, it is true that parking on a steep road regularly will weaken your car brake due to the pressure on the brake system. Where possible, avoid parking on a steep hill or road so that the pressure does not begin to take a toll on the brakes, leading to rapid wear and tear. When your brakes start making noise when you go around a corner, it is an alert that you should replace your brake pads. There are other ways parking on a steep road can be hard on your car.

Also, whether parking uphill or downhill, follow the standard safety procedure for parking anywhere: make good use of your rear-view mirrors to check your blind spots, use your indicators to alert other road users that you are parking shortly, among other modalities.

Furthermore, parallel parking needs ample space, so ensure there is enough space even before you start parking.

How Do I Pass A Driving Test Involving Parking On A Steep Road?

As we said, you may have to prove that you can park on a steep road to qualify for your driving license. That is why parking on a steep road should be part of preparations for the road test. Apart from studying how to park on a steep road, also keep the following in mind:

i. Practice Makes Perfect

This is one of those driving skills you can only learn through practice; so you should have done a couple of steep road parking days before the road test. By practicing, you mentally get to know how much pressure your accelerator needs to go uphill, apart from getting used to the procedure.

ii. Do Not Forget the Usual Parking Procedure

Sometimes, you end up failing the road test merely because you overlooked the seemingly minor details. When you are asked to park on a steep road, do not forget the usual parking procedure in your zeal to demonstrate your skills on this.

For instance, turn the indicators even if there are no visible road users. These may be small details, but they mean more to the DMV examiner.

Wrapping It Up

Parking on a steep road or hill is a walk in a park as long as you practice the procedure after learning the theory. Keep on practicing.

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