Which way to turn wheels when parking uphill? Uphill parking, downhill parking and in fact any parking on a hill takes special considerations compared to parking on a level surface.
Because of the incline or decline, there are additional risks involved, such as the car’s brakes failing and rolling into oncoming traffic. Making sure you know how to park on a hill safely will help build your driving confidence and ensure you don’t get any parking tickets for uncurbed wheels.
Which way to turn wheels when parking uphill?
Parking safely on a hill rests primarily on having a fully functioning parking brake. If your parking brake fails, the car will roll and could end up damaging other vehicles – or worse. However, there are a few precautionary steps you can take to guard against serious problems if your vehicle rolls.
Uphill with a curb
When you’re parking uphill and there is a full curb present, you should follow the same procedure as listed above – making sure you choose a safe and legal parking spot, complete mirror checks, signal and shoulder check appropriately.
Once your vehicle is parallel to and within 30 cm (1 foot) of the full curb, place the gear shift selector in Neutral, gently ease off the foot brake and turn the front wheels left. If you are driving an automatic, apply the park brake and you will stick to Park again for your gear selection, but you should choose first gear if you are driving a standard.
In both cases of parking downhill or uphill, your vehicle is now using the curb as a stopping point in case your vehicle malfunctions or if another vehicle hits yours, and it won’t move into other traffic.
Uphill with no curb
Most of the procedures remain the same if you are parking on a street without a curb. Choose a safe and legal space, mirror check, signal, shoulder check. Still maintain your 30cm (1 foot) distance from the edge of the road and turn your tires to the right.
This applies when there is no curb available, or if you are beside a rolling curb or mountable curb. In the event that your vehicle does roll, with the front wheels turned to the right, it rolls off the road rather than into it.
Turning your wheels to the right means that if you are parked facing downhill, your vehicle will roll forward and away from the road, and if you are facing uphill, your vehicle will roll backwards and away from the road. Win-win. Apply the park brake and place the gear shift selector into the Park position.
Downhill with a curb
If you’re parking downhill and there is a curb present, the first step will be choosing a safe and legal parking spot. On approach to a suitable location if parking on the right, check your mirrors and signal to the right. Complete a right shoulder check and bring the vehicle parallel to the curb, within 30 cm (1 foot).
Place the gear shift selector in Neutral, gently ease off the foot brake and turn the front wheels right. Stop before touching the curb, apply the park brake and place the gear shift selector to Park if you’re driving an automatic and Reverse if you are driving a standard. The same procedures apply if no curbs are present when parking downhill.
Downhill with no curb
If you are parked facing downhill and there is no curb, point your wheels towards the right side of the road. If the vehicle rolls, it should move away from the street rather than colliding with traffic.
How to turn your wheels the correct way
When parking on a hill, you will need to turn your wheels in a direction that prevents your vehicle from moving into the path of traffic if the brakes fail. This means you will need to turn the wheels differently depending on whether you are standing uphill or downhill with your car, and if the road has a curb or not.
Turning the wheels the correct way when parking is a simple precaution to prevent what could be a very dangerous accident. You don’t want to face criminal charges and be responsible for putting someone in the hospital (or worse).
Which gear should you use?
Leaving your car in the correct gear is more important than you might think. It will help keep your car in place by using the engine braking effect, which means your engine will act as a 2nd brake together with the parking brake.
Manual transmission cars should be in 1st gear when parked uphill and reverse gear when parked downhill. You can think of the correct gear being the gear that points “up the slope”.
Securing your vehicle on a hill
Often overlooked is the subject of securing a parked vehicle on a hill. Regardless of which direction your vehicle and its wheels are facing, you should always apply your park brake before placing the gear shift selector into the Park position in an automatic vehicle.
This allows the vehicle to be secured by the park brake and alleviates the shifter lever from becoming stuck in the Park position.
When leaving the parked position:
- keep your foot on the foot brake
- choose the appropriate gear
- release the park brake
- complete your 360° vision check
- Shoulder check
- Move into your desired direction
Which way do you turn the wheels when parking uphill with a curb quizlet?
When parking a vehicle facing uphill with a curb, face your wheels away from the curb. When parking a vehicle on a hill (uphill or downhill) without a curb, face your wheels toward the edge of the road.
Is it better to park uphill or downhill?
If your wheels are properly immobilized, it shouldn’t matter which way you’re facing. Either direction but turn your front wheels toward the curb to prevent rolling. Downhill turn wheel to right. Uphill, turn wheel to left.
Do wheels have to be straight when parked?
Not at all, in fact there are many occasions when you would want the tires at an angle to the body of the car. Any time you’re parked on a hill it is prudent to angle the wheels of the car so that if the parking brake failed to hold the car would run into the curb.
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