Driving a car up on hills is a great excitement but it is not safe until you know how to properly drive in hilly areas. You need to follow certain safety tips while driving. If you are planning a mountain trip, you need to keep these safety tips in mind can help you in safe driving on hills. Here are few tips that will ensure your trip into the mountains is a safe one.
Before starting your trip to the mountains, you must inspect your car thoroughly. Top up the coolant, check the brakes and the condition of the tyres. Fill up the fuel tank at regular interval. Driving on hills can put a bit stress on the vehicle, and if this is your first ride on mountains, it could stress you as well.
Once you start driving on hills, do not try unnecessary speeding until you become comfortable to maintain a steady pace. To manage drive on the steep slope, Shift gears early and you won’t be run out of power as needed. Early shifting of gears will maintain momentum on a steep slope or on a sharp bend. Once you are facing a turn, shift the gear at low before entering into the turn and maintain a steady pace across the turn. Accelerate the vehicle while you coming out of turn and you won’t lose momentum.
Don’t lose focus on turns because you will encounter many blind turns on mountains. It is very difficult to judge incoming traffic while entering into a sharp turn, so be aware all the time. Always honk your horn while entering into a turn. Always stick at your side and never break rules. At night you can easily judge incoming traffic by their head lights. You must use dipper at night and your head lights will not distract the incoming traffic.
While you are going down the hill, don’t use breaks continuously with higher gears. Spare the brakes, use engine braking. Follow the same rules for going up and down on the steep slope. To avoid premature brake failure, downshift the gear and use engine braking and it will take some of the stress out of the brakes.
If you are going downhill, always give the way to upcoming traffic. If you find a narrow road and upcoming traffic is there, take a pause and make space to them. This is a common rule in the hills.
While uphill driving, turn off the air conditioner and open car’s windows. Running the AC while driving uphill puts an additional strain on your engine that can cause it to overheat.
If you are trying to overtake, make sure there is enough clear space ahead. Always follow basic rules of overtaking. Flash your light in the night or give a short honk in the daytime to get the attention of the driver. Don’t overtake on turns. Don’t overtake until you get a clear indication from the driver for the safe move. Always downshift to proper gear so you will have enough power while overtaking.
If heavy vehicle is coming down you must stop and give hill facing side to the vehicle. If the road is narrow, the vehicle having driver close to valley should pass the first.
Even if the road is wide enough, do not touch the center line. Always try to make space at the center of the road, It will be convenient to both the side of traffic.
In the hilly area, dehydration is a very common problem and can lead to serious sickness. So, always carry enough drinking water. In hilly areas, it is difficult to get drinking water everywhere so make yourself prepare.
Navigating mountain roads can be more tiring than flat land driving so take breaks on regular basis, consider limiting travel on challenging roads to no more than six or seven hours per day. It will also give a chance to cool down the engine.
Even if you are good drivers in plain areas, you must take think twice before driving in hilly areas. Conditions will be totally different and you must know what to do and what not to do. I tried to explain everything you need to know for a safe driving in hilly areas. I hope I was clear enough in this article.