Planning a trip to hill station & need some tips to be safe on hills and mountains? There are few tips we’ve put together to help you stay safe during your journey & reduce your risk of driving through mountainous or hilly areas, especially for those who have never driven on the mountains,
Most important is to overcome the fear while watching deep valleys and sudden inclines and declines. Try to avoid look into valleys at the height of the hills and concentrate on the track where you are driving.
There are differences between driving on the plains and hills. Hills needs some extra concentration and inputs from the driver, both physically and mentally.
Before you leave, get your car inspected, here is the list of what you should check,
1. Have a full tank of fuel
In some mountainous areas, you may not find fuel stations even for 100 or more Kms and most of the fuel stations in hilly areas shut down in the evening. It is recommended to stock up on fuel to avoid getting stranded in the middle of your journey. Sometimes if you do see a small fuel station somewhere deep in the mountains, you may pay more per liter than you will anywhere else. It is not unusual for remote and mountainous fuel stations to charge some extra.
2. Check lights and horn
Make sure your horn and lights are working in perfect conditions
3. Check the fluid, coolant, and the brake fluid
Your car needs fluids to keep it running in top shape, and one of the easiest and most important things you can do for your vehicle is to ensure that the fluids are maintained at the proper level and in good condition.
There are the top 5 essential car fluids you need to check
1. Engine Oil
2. Brake Fluid
3. Power Steering Fluid
4. Transmission Fluid
4. Tyre Checks
Take a good look around each of the tyres and make sure that there aren’t any cuts, tears, or bulges on any of them. Also check for stones and nails in the tyres, as well as any damage to the side wall
Also, make sure tyres have enough treads left in them. Check that tyres are inflated and a spare is on standby.
5. Check windshield wipers
It is easy to forget about windshield wipers until it starts raining or snowing. But this simple device could save your life in bad weather, so it’s crucial to keep your windshield wiper blades in working condition at all times.
6. Fog Lamps
If your car is not equipped with fog lamps do install them before going to foggy areas During winter, the fog may be so thick that you will not be able to see the bonnet of the car. in such situations, stop at the first safe parking zone and do not continue until conditions have improved. Also, remember to drive slowly during foggy weather
7. Snow Chains Even If It’s Not Snowing (In Winters )
Tyre chains are something most drivers even avoids or forgets but it is essential to carry tyre chains while driving in mountains during the winter. In many places, you will not be allowed to go without chains on tyres. Bill for renting chains from locals will be something you won’t want to see.
7. Essentials Car kit
Be ready for emergencies
Weather and road conditions can become unpredictable in high elevations and remote areas. Sudden breakdown of the car can leave you stranded for many hours on a remote mountain road and car accidents in these areas can prove especially dangerous.
Make sure to pack a first-aid kit, a flashlight with spare batteries, extra clothing, and food.
Keep a battery-operated torch too, really comes in handy during car break-downs at night!
A strong rope in the boot, might come handy if towing is needed
Keep info about nearest service stations route
Water, & emergency gears
Tips for Driving In Mountains Safely
1. Use lower gears for uphill drive and also for downhill drive
2. Use the horn when in doubt on every curve and corner and turn
3. Turn off AC and roll your windows down if you're traveling up a particularly steep grade, since running the AC puts an additional strain on your engine that may cause it to overheat.
4. Stay in your lane
Stay on your side of the road, and give some extra space between your vehicle and others that you're following, sudden stops can strike at any time.
5. Use lower gears and brake judiciously
Using brakes frequently heats them and reduces their effectiveness. Despite using it, you can use engine braking
7. Use Headlights and high beam
Even in daylight, it is recommended that you use headlights and high beams because one side of the hill will always be in the shadow and this is where you will need your headlights to warn people and make them aware of your presence. Do keep in mind not to flash your high beam directly onto any incoming vehicle in front of you as this may blind them temporarily.
1. Never overtake on a turn no matter what the situation
It will be risky & will almost certainly lead to an accident. Please do not try and attempt an overtake at a sharp curve or blind turn as there could be oncoming traffic.
2. Never ever come downhill in neutral or engine shut-off, Use engine braking.
3. Avoid breaking often while coming down from a hill as it can heat up the brakes and can cause the failure of it always try to stick to lower gears while coming downhill
4. To see mountains beauty - stop first
5. Don’t drive on a High beam
6. Must give way to traffic going up
Have a nice & safe trip!!