Mar 23, 2023
How to safely park on hills in Ontario
Uphill and downhill parking is one of the many things you need to know about how to navigate when driving. Experienced drivers and those working through the Ontario graduated licence system need to know the rules for parking on hills or inclines. Uphill and downhill parking have their own set of rules that must be followed to ensure safety on roads. Do you know which way your wheels should face?
In this blog post, you’ll learn the guidelines for parking on roadways that have an uphill or downhill incline.
Click below to go to key points :Tips for parking uphill
Tips for parking downhill
Learn how to safely park on a hill with these 5 steps
Ontario parking rules
Tips for exiting your hillside parking spot
How to park uphill with a curb
When parking on an uphill slope, there are a few rules to keep in mind. The first and most important rule is to turn your wheels towards the curb or edge of the road. This means that if your car were to move, it would roll toward the curb instead of into traffic.
Make sure to park close to the curb or edge of the road. This will help prevent your car from rolling or drifting into traffic. It is also important to avoid parking on steep inclines, as this can put a strain on your car and make it more difficult to get out of the spot.
Here are the steps to park uphill with a curb :
- The approach : Approach the curb being mindful of pedestrians, cars, and objects ahead of you.
- Steering : Turn your steering wheel to the left so your wheels turn away from the curb and towards the road (the curb acts as a block to catch your tires).
- Parking brake : Shift your handbrake on, with your foot still on the brake. Always use your parking brake – it will help prevent your car from rolling down the hill if your wheels fail.
- If you are driving a manual : Shift your car into first. If you are driving an automatic, shift into park.
Uphill parking without a curb
If there is no curb where you are parking, make sure you turn the wheels to the right. This will ensure your vehicle will roll off the road if the handbrake disengages. Similar to uphill parking with a curb. Use your handbrake, and switch into park (or first gear if you are driving manual).
How to park downhill with a curb
When parking on a downhill slope, the rules are slightly different than uphill. The first rule is to turn your wheel towards the curb or edge of the road. If your car were to roll, it would roll toward the curb rather than into traffic.
It is also important to use your parking brake, especially when parking on a steep incline. If you are driving a manual, leave the car in reverse instead of first gear because it will veer your vehicle to the curb instead of traffic.
Lastly, make sure to park close to the curb or edge of the road when parking on a downhill slope. This will help prevent your car from rolling or drifting into traffic.
Downhill parking without a curb
Downhill parking without a curb is almost the same as uphill parking with a curb. Turn your wheels sharply to the right and leave your car in reverse if you’re driving a manual transmission car.
5 Steps to park on a hill safely
If you are parking in a hilly area, it’s important to know the tips for parking safely. Below are five tips to help you :
- Pull forward : Check your surroundings, mirrors, and for any hazards or no parking signs.
- Shift into park or first gear : If you drive an automatic, switch into park. If you drive a manual, switch to the correct gear.
- Use emergency brake : Don’t forget this extra precaution to limit the risk of your vehicle rolling.
- Turn your tires : Make sure you turn your tires before shutting off your engine because it utilizes the vehicle’s power steering. Remember to turn your wheel toward the curb or edge of the road.
- Be cautious exiting the vehicle : Always check the mirrors and blind spots to ensure it is clear to leave the spot. Hills can make visibility difficult when driving at night so be sure to exercise extra caution. Use your signal when pulling out of a parking spot.
Parking rules in Ontario every driver should know
Below are some of the basic parking rules that every driver should be considerate of when parking uphill or downhill. Many of them can also prevent parking lot accidents.
- Don’t double park or obstruct another parked car, road entrance, crosswalk, or sidewalk.
- Never park within three metres of a fire hydrant.
- Park at least 10 metres away from an intersection, or 15 metres if there are traffic lights.
- Always check for pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles before opening your door.
- Never leave pets or children alone in your car.
- Avoid leaving your car idling.
- Always lock your door to prevent having your vehicle stolen.
- Don’t park on a hill or curved road where you don’t have a clear view at least 125 metres both ways.
- Be mindful of rules around school zones and construction zones.
- Don’t park in areas that will get in the way of traffic or snow clearing.
How to exit from a parking spot on a hill
When you exit from an uphill or downhill parking spot, first you will want to put pressure on the brakes and remove the emergency brake. Be sure to check your mirrors for any traffic or hazards. Gently step on the gas after you release the brakes. Slowly drive out of the parking spot.
Uphill and downhill parking FAQs
You should turn your wheels towards the curb or edge of the road.
Turning your wheels away from traffic prevents accidents if your vehicle rolls out or the brakes fail.
Yes, you could get a ticket for improper parking on a hill. For example, if you block traffic or ignore roadside signs, you could get a parking ticket.
Manual cars will want to turn their wheels towards the curb or road edge. If you are parking uphill in a manual, make sure you switch into first gear. If you are parking downhill in a manual car, leave it in reverse.
Follow these tips to park on a hill properly
Overall, it is important to follow the rules and regulations when parking on hills or inclines. Remember to turn your wheels towards the curb or edge of the road, use your parking brake, and park close to the curb to prevent accidents and ensure a smooth ride.
With a little practice, you’ll be more confident parking uphill or downhill anywhere. Pay close attention to your surroundings, turn your tires in the right direction, and shift into the parking gear.
Next, you’ll just have to conquer parallel parking and make sure you’re paying the optimal price for car insurance in Ontario.