Q: What should I know about driving on hills?

asked by on December 15, 2015

What should I know about driving on hills?

While there is no replacement for awareness when driving, there are a couple things you can do when you’re about to go up a hill:

  • Shift to a low gear and stay at a slow speed while going up the hill, keeping both hands on the steering wheel in a firm grip.

  • Try to drive straight up or down the hill if at all possible.

  • Slow down even further when approaching the top of the hill.

  • Turn your headlamps on, even in daylight, to ensure the visibility of your vehicle.

  • When driving upward to the top of a hill, stay at a low speed. Your view is often obstructed by the hill, and there is a possibility there could be a drop-off, embankment, cliff, or another vehicle. Stay alert and slow down to avoid an accident.

  • If you need to brake while going down a hill, do so lightly, as heavy braking in this situation can cause your brakes to overheat.

If your vehicle ever happens to stall on a hill, keep in mind the following information:

  • Apply the brakes to stop the vehicle, and then apply the parking brake.

  • Shift into park (or first gear in a manual transmission) and then restart the engine. If your vehicle stalled while driving uphill, shift into reverse and back down the hill very slowly.

  • Do not attempt to turn the vehicle around, and do not attempt to back down the hill in neutral only using the brake, as you may lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident.

  • If the vehicle will not restart, make sure your parking brake is on and leave the vehicle to find help and call a qualified mechanic, staying clear of a potential path the vehicle would roll if the parking brake were to fail.

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