Tips for Safe Mountain Driving

Tips for Safe Mountain Driving

Driving in the mountains means that you get to enjoy beautiful views, but it can also require extra concentration and additional wear and tear on your vehicle. Keep safe during your next mountain drive by implementing these tips.

Inspect your vehicle before leaving.

Before you hit the road, take some time to carefully examine your vehicle. Braking is especially important on mountainous roads, so ensure that your brake fluid is filled and the treads on your tires are at an acceptable level.

Play it safe while descending.

One of the most fun parts about driving in the mountains is driving downhill, but resist the temptation to speed during declines. A good rule of thumb is to not drive down a hill any faster than you can drive up it.

Use caution on steep inclines.

Heading up steep inclines puts your car at risk for overheating. If your vehicle starts overheating, turn off the air conditioner and pull over to a safe location to allow the engine to cool down.

Stay away from the center line.

You’ll notice that many mountain roads are more narrow than highway roads. Because of this, you’ll need to take extra care not to hug the center line while driving. This puts both you and drivers on the other side of the road at risk.

Give vehicles travelling uphill the right of way.

Remember that the car going uphill should always be given the right of way when driving on a mountain. Give passing vehicles extra time to get back in their lane since accelerating is difficult on steep inclines.

Slow down carefully.

Whether you’re dealing with challenging weather conditions or you just want to relax and enjoy the scenery, it’s normal to want to slow down at times on mountain roads. However, it’s best to pull over if there are more than three vehicles behind you.

Take precautions at high elevations.

If you’re driving to a high elevation, staying hydrated is vital. Bring plenty of water with you, and drink it regularly to avoid altitude sickness.

Know how to handle changing weather.

Weather conditions can change quickly at high elevations. If you’re driving in winter weather, keep your vehicle stocked with blankets, chains, and an ice scraper. Be sure that your gas tank is filled before heading up the mountain.

Take breaks when necessary.

If possible, plan to drive no more than six hours per day when you know you’ll be driving through mountainous terrain. When you’re exhausted, your reaction times can suffer, so it’s best to tackle challenging driving conditions when you are well-rested.

Use extra caution on unpaved surfaces.

Explorers love discovering unpaved roads during mountainous drives. If you’re leaving the highway to drive on unpaved roads, make sure that someone knows where you are going and when you plan to return. Since unpaved roads provide less traction, drive slowly and don’t attempt tight turns.