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8 Tips for Driving Through Mountains and Hills

Mountains and Hills

Summer is here, which means it is time for vacations. But if you plan on going to the mountains or a hillside, you need to be fully prepared for the road trip. Going through the mountains can be a bit tricky, and if you don’t have the proper guidance, a lot can go wrong for you. Tricky turns, dangerous slopes, and unpredictable weather are the things that can go against you when you are in the mountains trying to navigate your way to your destination. But if you go fully prepared, you will get through all the hurdles smoothly and be able to enjoy a nice trip.


Here are the eight tips that can guide you on how to drive safely through mountains and hills:

Get Your Car Serviced:

Yes, this does not concern the actual driving through the mountains, but as some genius rightly said, good preparation is half the work. If you enter those roads fully prepared, their twists and turns won’t scare you. Being fully prepared does not only mean mental preparation but also getting your car ready for the trip. If your vehicle isn’t ready for a trip through the mountains, it can break down in the middle of nowhere, and you will be stranded there until help arrives. That is the opposite of an ideal situation, and all of us would want to avoid that.

The easiest way to make sure your car keeps running smoothly throughout the drive is by getting it serviced before starting your journey. Also get it thoroughly inspected by expert mechanics so anything wrong with the brakes, windshield wipers, battery, or the exhaust system can be fixed. Your tires should all be in the best condition, including the spare one. Since driving through the mountains will put a lot of strain on your car, you must make sure that everything inside is working properly.


Prepare for Emergencies:

Weather conditions can change anytime in the mountains, and that’s something you should keep in mind before starting your journey. But the weather isn’t the only thing that might force you to stop in the middle of the road, your car can breakdown too, and if you are ready for all kinds of emergencies, it won’t be a big problem for you. Bringing a spare tire isn’t enough; you must also take along a tool kit that contains all the tools for minor repairs.

If you think you are taking enough food and water supply with you, then think again because you could get stuck somewhere for days and having an emergency stock will be your lifesaver. Since you sometimes can’t get mobile signals in these areas, it is better to take a CB radio with you. If you are facing an emergency and need assistance, you can tune to channel 19 and ask for help.


Fill Your Tank:

You can’t find many gas stations in the mountains which is why it is better to fill your tank before leaving so you don’t end up in a frustrating situation. There will be a lot of driving on steep grades when you are going through the mountains and hills, and that consumes extra fuel, which is why you need to be prepared for it. Along with filling your tank beforehand, you must also do your research and learn about the locations of petrol pumps on your way. Some maps also show these stats, but if you can’t find one, you can always rely on the internet to help you.


Shift to the Low Gear:

There is one mistake that many drivers make, and that is maintaining speed when going downhill and only shifting to a lower gear when they are already halfway down the road. This is a very unsafe method of driving when you are going through the mountains. You could get stuck in neutral, and then you will be at the mercy of your vehicle’s brakes to keep you safe. Another thing to remember when you are about to downgrade is to brake before it. If you don’t do it before starting your journey downhill, your vehicle will pick up speed, and you won’t have enough control over the speed.


Brake intelligently:

People incorrectly assume that continuous braking is the way to go on a downhill road but not only will that wear down your brakes but also put more strain on your vehicle. The smart way to brake when you are going downhill is the pulse method in which you go with quick and light taps on the brake pedal. This way the brakes won’t heat up.

You will need a vehicle suitable for mountain roads if you want to use your brakes properly. A lot of common vehicles aren’t made for such travels. A jeep is a much better choice for such journeys. It will allow you better control over it, and you will be able to drive confidently on the dangerous mountain roads. As far as the type of jeep is concerned, if you find a land rover defender for sale, you must not hesitate to buy it as soon as possible. Once you go on your journey, you will realize it is worth every penny.


Check the Temperature Gauge Regularly:

When you are going uphill, your vehicle will be under a lot of strain. This can cause the engine to heat up. Driving an overheated car can damage it, which is why you need to keep an eye on the temperature gauge, and as soon as you see it going up, you must stop and let it cool down. If you notice the temperature going up before it has reached an alarming point, you can turn off the air conditioner to give the engine a break. If it does not work, then you must pull over at a safe space. 


Turn on the Headlights:

Headlights are not limited to night driving. If it gets foggy or heavily clouded, you must turn on the headlights straight away. They also become necessary when it rains or snows. If the visibility is quite low, you should also turn on the headlamps to see the oncoming traffic and let other drivers know of your location on the road.


Turning:

When you have to make a turn, slow your car before approaching it because the diversions on mountains are pretty dangerous and can trick even the most expert drivers. Mountains also have signs that tell you to slow down before a sharp turn. Don’t ignore those signs because they are only there for your safety. While on the road, you must also be mindful of other drivers. If you come across a blind turn, don’t hesitate to use your horn. A horn can prove to be useful in these situations, especially if the road is narrow.

Driving through mountains and hills is a lot of fun but only with the right precautions. You must always be mindful of the situation and stay alert at all times during driving. Don’t forget to take frequent brakes, so you don’t get too tired. Along with your vehicle, also get your clothing and hiking gear ready for the trip and make sure you follow all the protocols of driving when you are on the road.

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