Driving in the mountains is a common occurrence around here. If you are travelling up to the Rocky Mountains for the weekend, you might not think twice about it. However, no matter how many times you have taken a road trip through the mountains, you can never be too safe. It is always good to keep some safety tips in mind so you can reduce your chances of getting into an accident and sustaining injuries.
Mountain driving can cause extra wear and tear on your car and can be tricky at times. Keep reading for some top mountain driving tips from the National Parks Service.
1. Use low gears
Low gears are helpful in the mountains whether you are climbing or descending. When descending, low gears help you slow down without straining your brakes. When climbing, they help you maintain your speed. If your car has a manual transmission, stay between gears one and three. For automatic transmissions, look for “L” or “2” on your gearshift.
2. Do not ride your brakes
When you are driving down a steep grade, you might instinctively ride your brakes. This heats them up and can lead to them smoking and malfunctioning. Use your lower gears to regulate your speed. If you must use your brakes more than usual, make sure you pull over to a safe spot to let them cool off.
3. Be aware of weather conditions
Ideally, you should be able to anticipate any inclement weather such as rain, fog, snow or intense wind by checking the forecast beforehand. However, sometimes surprises happen. If bad weather conditions pop up, exercise extra caution, reduce your speed and be courteous to other drivers.
A trip through the mountains does not have to result in injuries. If you adhere to these safety guidelines, you can reduce your chances of getting into an accident.