Driving in the mountains or hilly areas can be a beautiful experience. When it comes to the driving pleasure in hills, nothing beats the serene beauty and that fresh air that encompasses you. But driving in mountains or a hilly area comes with challenges and if you are not aware of those unspoken rules of driving on mountains or the dangers associated with it, then things can turn upside down very quickly and quite literally. Escaping to mountains or hills for traveling can be a good idea, but you have to brace yourself for some rules and tips to have a safe journey. Most of the accidents on mountains are caused by drivers who do not have the required skills or are too overconfident about it. Here are five important mountain driving tips that will help you drive more carefully in hilly areas or mountains-
1. Get your vehicle inspected
If you do not belong to a hilly area and are thinking about venturing into the mountain region, then before you do that, make sure that you get your vehicle checked by a competent mechanic. Focus on critical things like the braking system, cooling system, car battery, and the whole suspension geometry. Mountain regions take a heavy toll on these components, and you must ensure that they are working in proper harmony. Not only these steps will help prevent a road accident but will make sure that your vehicle remains reliable. You can’t expect to get a tow service if you happen to have a breakdown in the middle of nowhere. You should also make sure that the tires of your vehicle have adequate threads left in them, and they are not too hard due to old age.
2. Follow traffic rules to the T!
The biggest cause for an accident in the hilly area is not following the rules associated with driving in the hills. This is most frequently witnessed with the drivers coming from the plains and have no clue about how to drive in hilly areas. Things like being extra careful in corners, knowing when to use the horn, how to calculate the overtaking maneuver, etc are some of the most broken rules. Maintaining the speed limit is extremely important in the hilly areas, a sudden weight shift in tight corners due to excessive speed can easily topple your vehicle. Lastly, you must stay in your lane while driving in a hilly area. The hills are full of blind corners and do not want to rely on guesswork, always presume that there is a vehicle present at the other end of the corner.
3. Momentum management.
One of the important mountain driving tips. Driving in hills or mountains is a big energy management exercise, and you must be aware of the basics. Managing the momentum of your vehicle is not only important while going up, but also equally important while going down. The most important lesson is that you must know what appropriate gear you should use while going uphill, and you should stick with it while going downhill too. A proper gear selection will keep your engine in the proper power band, providing you the response that you’ll need. It will also help in providing adequate engine braking assist while coming downhill, protecting your brakes from cooking. The vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission have a dedicated mode for hill driving, always use it. Always follow the safe speed limit and respect the weight of your vehicle. Things can go uncontrollable in a split second if you are not careful enough.
4. Keep your ego at home
A cardinal rule of driving at hills or in a mountain region is that you have to respect them. If you are not keen on following the rules, then the mighty hills will take no time to show you your proper place. Driving in hills is a challenge, and you must not act in an overconfident manner. Driving in a rash and negligent manner on hills is a perfect recipe for disaster, hills are no place to impress your friends with your daredevil driving skills. Follow the unspoken rules, know when to stop, and which vehicle has a right of way. A multi-ton heavy commercial vehicle coming down the hill should be given way because it will take no time to turn your vehicle into a flat pancake if you are keen to show your superiority. Lastly, do not ever drink and drive in a mountain region. Driving on hills requires a greater concentration level and impaired brain function is the last thing you want.
5. Driving on snow-covered roads
Enjoying snow-covered scenery is surely very pleasurable, but it is highly advised that you should avoid driving on snow as much as you can, especially if you are new to it. Driving on snow requires a different set of skills and if you are new to it, then make sure that you learn about them with the help of a trained person. Skills apart, there are some other considerations that you must take into account like using snow-rated tires, proper use of a four-wheel-drive system(if your vehicle has one), and other accessories such as chains for tires for extreme snow-covered roads. Take extra precautions, do not give any sudden input to your vehicle. Your braking and acceleration should be as gentle as possible. The braking distance increases considerably in snow, and you must have a good distance between vehicles in front of you.
Driving on hills or mountains can be a memorable experience and with the help of these tips, you can rest assured about safety while driving there with these mountain driving tips. With the heavy influx of tourists in hilly areas, the rate of accidents increases, and even the government has to release advisories to reduce them. So it is our duty that if we venture into a hilly region, we must follow all the road and safety protocols and make the roads safer. Hilly region is not a place for showing off your rash skills, you must be a responsible driver.