Parking spaces can be scarce, especially in larger towns and busy cities. When a road user is under pressure to meet a tight deadline, they may opt to park in a space that is far from ideal.
While parking on an inclined surface can be acceptable, there is a potential for things to go wrong. Outlined below are a few examples of how accidents can result from parking on a slope.
When the front of the vehicle faces downhill
If a vehicle is parked facing downhill and the handbrake fails, there is a potential for the car to roll down the hill at a tremendous speed and collide with anything in its path. The injuries from such an occurrence can be catastrophic, particularly for pedestrians or cyclists. One thing drivers can do to minimize the risk is to turn the steering wheel so that the wheels point towards the curb. This way, if the brakes fail, the curb may stop the forward momentum and prevent the car from rolling a great distance.
The same principles apply when the car is parked on a slope with the vehicle’s rear aimed downhill. If drivers turn the front wheels so that they face the curb, the rear of the car will roll toward the curb if the brakes fail, hopefully stopping the momentum and preventing the car from gathering speed.
If the vehicle is automatic, then drivers should also ensure that the car is put into the parking gear. For manual vehicles, putting the transmission into any gear should offer a backup to the handbrake and prevent the car from rolling.
If you’ve been injured by a car that has rolled down a hill, then you may be able to hold the owner to account if they parked negligently. Seeking legal guidance on the matter will give you some insight into your options.