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What Should You Do When Parking Facing Downhill?

Parking on a hill is nerve-wracking, when you think about it. What if your handbrake doesn’t work? What if you leave your car, only for it to roll down the hill, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake?

To prevent this from happening, there are certain procedures you should follow when parking facing downhill. And to ensure that all drivers are familiar with these procedures, it’s even a question on the theory test: “What should you do when parking facing downhill?”

So let’s take a look at how best to answer this question.

What Should You Do When Parking Facing Downhill?

Turn your wheels towards the kerb. Or if there is no kerb, turn them towards the verge at the edge of the road. That’s it! This is a failsafe which means that if your parking brake fails, your car won’t trundle down the hill.

Cars rolling down hills become increasingly dangerous as they pick up more and more speed. By turning your wheels towards the kerb, instead, your car will either roll onto the kerb, or onto the verge if there is no kerb.

What If I’m Parking Facing Uphill?

It’s the same sort of idea – you just have to turn your wheels towards the kerb, or towards the verge at the edge of the road. It’s slightly more complicated though, as you’ll have to turn your wheels in a different direction depending on whether or not the road has a kerb.

If the road has a kerb, turn the wheels to the right, towards the road. That way, if your parking brake fails, your car will roll backwards, but its front tyre will immediately hit the kerb. This will stop your car from rolling backwards any further.

If the road has no kerb, turn the wheels to the left, towards the verge, just like you would if you were parking facing downhill. That way, if your parking brake fails, your car will simply roll out of the road and onto the verge, where it will be safe from oncoming traffic.

Other Things to Remember When Parking on a Hill

All of the advice above applies to situations where you’re parking on the left hand side of the road. Occasionally, you may have to park on a hill on the right hand side of the road. In this case, simply reverse the direction you turn your wheels. So if you’re parking facing downhill on the right hand side of the road, turn your wheels to the right, towards the kerb or the verge.

If you’re driving a manual car, you can leave your car in first gear when parked on a hill. This way, your engine will remain engaged, which could stop your car from rolling if your parking brake fails. Similarly, automatic cars have a special “Park” setting to achieve the same effect.

Affordable Car Insurance for Learners

There is a lot you need to remember when you’re learning to drive. From your theory to your practical, you’ll have to learn a lot of procedures like this one before you get your licence. But the only way you’ll ever get to grips with everything you need to know is through practice.

You can’t drive without car insurance. But with our learner driver car insurance, you can put in extra practice outside of your lessons, so long as you’re accompanied by an experienced driver. This way, you’ll be able to fine-tune all the techniques, manoeuvres and procedures you learn in your regular lessons until you’ve mastered them – so you should be able to pass your test first time!

Learner driver insurance from Go Girl will give you the peace of mind that you’re fully covered at a price you can afford. Head here to learn more.