Driving Uphill

Once you decide you can safely drive up the hill, you need to take some special steps.

• Use a low gear and get a firm grip on the steering wheel.
• Get a smooth start up the hill and try to maintain your speed. Do not use more power than you need, because you do not want your wheels to start spinning or sliding.
• Try to drive straight up the hill if at all possible.

If the path twists and turns, you might want to find another route.

Turning or driving across steep hills can be dangerous. You could lose traction, slide sideways, and possibly roll over.

You could be seriously injured or killed.

When driving up hills, always try to go straight up.

• Ease up on your speed as you approach the top of the hill.
• Attach a flag to the vehicle to make you more visible to approaching traffic on trails or hills.
• Sound the horn as you approach the top of the hill to let opposing traffic know you are there.
• Use your headlamps, even during the day.

They make you more visible to oncoming traffic.

Driving to the top (crest) of a hill at full speed can cause an accident. There could be a drop-off, embankment, cliff, or even another vehicle. You could be seriously injured or killed. As you near the top of a hill, slow down and stay alert.

Q: What should I do if my vehicle stalls, or is about to stall, and I cannot make it up the hill?

A: If this happens, there are some things you should do, and there are some things you must not do. First, here is what you should do:

• Push the brake pedal to stop the vehicle and keep it from rolling backwards. Also, apply the parking brake.
• If your engine is still running, shift the transmission to REVERSE (R), release the parking brake, and slowly back down the hill in REVERSE (R).
• If your engine has stopped running, you will need to restart it. With the brake pedal pressed and the parking brake still applied, shift the transmission to PARK (P) and restart the engine. Then shift to REVERSE (R), release the parking brake, and slowly back down the hill as straight as possible in REVERSE (R).
• As you are backing down the hill, put your left hand on the steering wheel at the 12 o’clock position. This way you will be able to tell if your wheels are straight and maneuver as you back down. It is best that you back down the hill with your wheels straight rather than in the left or right direction. Turning the wheel too far to the left or right will increase the possibility of a rollover.

Here are some things you must not do if you stall, or are about to stall, when going up a hill.

• Never attempt to prevent a stall by shifting into NEUTRAL (N) to rev-up the engine and regain forward momentum. This will not work. Your vehicle will roll backwards very quickly and you could go out of control.

Instead, apply the regular brake to stop the vehicle. Then apply the parking brake.

Shift to REVERSE (R), release the parking brake, and slowly back straight down.
• Never attempt to turn around if you are about to stall when going up a hill. If the hill is steep enough to stall your vehicle, it is steep enough to cause you to roll over if you turn around.

If you cannot make it up the hill, you must back straight down the hill.

Q: Suppose, after stalling, I try to back down the hill and decide I just cannot do it.

What should I do?

A: Set the parking brake, put the transmission in PARK (P), and turn off the engine. Leave the vehicle and go get some help. Exit on the uphill side and stay clear of the path the vehicle would take if it rolled downhill.

    See also:

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