Knowing How to Park on Hills is a Must

Even if a few states fail to mention this in their driver’s manual or handbook, it is important to understand proper parking on hills. You must understand why you park differently if you face uphill or downhill.

Improper is an offense and may result in a ticket. Expect this to be enforced in some cities.

A Pitfall on the Written DMV test

Consider the following question: You park on headed uphill and there is a curb. How should you turn your front wheels?

On the California test, 49 percent of the test takers pick the correct answer. The correct procedure is described on page 46 in the California Driver Handbook along with a good illustration. This, of course, makes it easier for you to learn.

On the Florida test, only 38 percent get the question right. Correct parking is basically described in the handbook with images only. It is easy to miss this when you study the Florida Handbook.

In Connecticut, more than two out of three miss this question (only 32 percent get it right). The driver’s manual does not mention how to turn the wheels when facing uphill. But you are still required to know this, since it is part of your behind-the-wheel driving test.

Park on Hills – The Rule is Simple

To make it very simple, there is only one thing you have to remember: uphill and a curb!

When you face uphill and have a curb, you take advantage of the curb as an extra brake. Turn your steering wheel away from the curb when facing uphill. Let the vehicle roll back a little bit. The back of your front wheel will touch the curb and act as a brake. If you do this, your car will not go anywhere. Set your parking brake. Use “park” if your car has an automatic transmission. Turn off ignition and remove your key.

In all other situations, you turn the front wheels the other way. This means that your front wheels should point toward the curb or side of the road. Facing downhill, the curb will once again act as a brake. When there is no curb, your car will roll off the road – should your parking brake fail!

More About Parking

Additional reading: Parking on Hills

Video released by California DMV Parking