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On The Road

How to Park on a Hill

Whether you live on a steep road or you’ve just found a spot on an incline, parking on a hill is something most drivers have encountered. Safely parking on a hill is all seating your wheels into the curb — the right way. When parking uphill at a curb, turn your front wheels away from the curb. When you’re parking downhill, turn your front wheels toward the curb.

There’s a couple more things you need to keep in mind. If you avoid parking on hills because you don’t want your car taking a joyride without you, help has arrived. By following these handy tips an entire world of parking spots can open up for you.


  1. Whether you live in a hilly area or you've just found a spot on an incline, parking on a hill is a challenge most drivers will face.

    Thankfully, the experts at American Family Insurance have plenty of tips to help you safely park on hills, so your car doesn't end up taking a little joyride without you.

    First, when parking on a hill try to nab a spot near a curb. Why? The curb can help stop your car from rolling downhill if something happens like if your brakes fail.

    Next, consider whether you're parking uphill or downhill because that will change what you need to do to keep your car safe.

    If you've found an uphill parking spot, pull into it or parallel park if needed. Turn your front wheels away from the curb and then back up until the tires touch the curb. By turning your wheels away from the curb, your car would roll back and hit it, if your brakes fail. This can help prevent your car from rolling into traffic.

    Next, shift your car into park and turn the ignition off, but don't get out of the car yet. You're not quite done! Engage the emergency brake before leaving your car.

    When you're ready to get back on the road, be sure to disengage the brake.

    Okay, so now you know how to park uphill. What about downhill parking?

    Parking downhill is similar to parking uphill.

    First, pull into it or parallel park into your downhill parking spot.

    Then turn your front wheels toward the curb and let the car roll forward a bit until the tires touch it.

    Finally, don't forget to engage the emergency brake before leaving your car.

    But what if the hill you're parking on doesn't have any curb at all?

    No worries! We've got you.

    First, pull into the open spot.

    Regardless of whether you're parking up or downhill, if there's no curb, you should turn your front wheels toward the side of the road and away from traffic. This way, if your vehicle rolls, it rolls into the roadside and not into oncoming traffic.

    As always, don't forget to engage your emergency brake before you exit your vehicle.

    And there you have it! With these steps, you'll be able to park on hills like a pro.

    Another pro move? Getting a custom auto insurance policy from your local American Family agent. With great discounts and special coverages, you can design a policy that lets you take control of what you pay for insurance and protects you against the unexpected.

    Ready for more great auto tips? Visit AmFam.com or contact your local agent today.


How to Park on a Hill With a Curb

If you have to park on a hill, try to nab a spot near a curb. This is ideal because the curb does a great job of stopping your car from rolling downhill if the unexpected happens and your brakes fail or the car begins to roll. Turning your wheels in the right direction when parking on a hill is key — and it depends on if you park uphill or downhill.

Parking uphill

  1. Once you’ve found an uphill parking spot, pull into it or parallel park if needed.
  2. Turn your front wheels away from the curb and then back up a bit until the tires touch the curb.
  3. By turning your wheels away from the curb, your car will roll back and hit the curb if your brakes fail. This can help prevent your car from rolling into traffic.
  4. Shift your car into park and turn the ignition off.
  5. Engage your emergency brake before leaving your car. Don’t forget to disengage the emergency brake when you’re ready to get back on the road!

Parking downhill

  1. Like parking uphill, pull into or parallel park into your downhill parking spot.
  2. Turn your front wheels toward the curb and let the car roll forward a bit until the tires touch it.
  3. Just like parking uphill, use the emergency brake before leaving your car.

How to Park on a Hill Without a Curb

If the hill you’re parking on doesn’t have a curb, no need to panic.

  1. Pull into the open spot.
  2. Turn your wheels toward the side of the road. That way, if your vehicle rolls, it rolls into the roadside and not into oncoming traffic.
  3. Don’t forget to engage your emergency break.

And that’s it for parking on a hill. Keeping these tips in mind means you can park in peace and know your car will be safe while you’re away.


Park and Drive Safely with Car Insurance

Whether you're parking uphill or downhill, be sure to keep your car protected from the unexpected with a personalized car insurance policy that's built for you.

If you want to learn more about how to save on your car insurance, reach out to an American Family Insurance agent to get a quote today.

This article is for informational purposes only and includes information widely available through different sources.


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Related Topics: On The Road , Car Safety , Safe Driving