Your examiner will be looking for you to recognize any time you are parked on a hill. They will be testing you to see if you can recognize the hill, and if it is, which way you would turn the steering wheel.
The whole point of turning the steering wheel a certain way on hills is to prevent the vehicle from rolling onto the road or other parked vehicle in front or behind. (Please note any time you are parked beside a curb, you are required to be within 30cm of the curb. The best visual cue would be where your door handles are kissing the curb on your right side mirror.)
During your road test, you will be asked to parallel park at least once and pull over and park the car between 3 and 5 times.
How do you turn your wheels when parking downhill?
If you are parking downhill when there is a curb, you want to turn the steering wheel to the right. This way, if the brakes should fail, the car will roll into the curb, preventing the car from rolling any further.
How do you turn your wheels when parking uphill?
If you’re parking uphill when there is a curb, you want to turn the steering wheel to the left. This way, if the brakes should fail, the car’s front right tire will catch the curb, thus preventing the car from rolling backwards.
If you are parking in an area with no curb, then whether it is uphill or downhill, you want to turn your steering wheel to the right. This way the vehicle will not roll onto the road.
Identifying when you’re on a hill
For the most part, hills are typically easy to identify. But sometimes I find students have a hard time figuring it out when there is a slight slope. At SenSen Driving School, we recommend you put the vehicle in “N” to “test” the hill.
If you put the car in N and the car rolls forward, then you are on a downhill. If the car rolls backwards, then you are on a uphill. Work with your driving instructor to understand this little trick to test for hills.
Make sure you pay attention to this during the road test. Every little bit helps. Don’t forget to check for the hill! We don’t want you losing marks on the test.
Photo credit: How To Park Downhill / Uphill With Or Without Curb by Morozov Automotive on YouTube