Driving through mountains and canyons may be a common necessity for truckers and other shipment companies, but it is not always a common trip for the average traveler. You may be simply heading towards your holiday destination. Regardless of your reason, there are a couple of things to keep in mind in order to make your trip not only efficient but safe as well. The following list was created to help you prepare and stay safe during your drive through the mountains.
Consider the Weather
Before even getting into your vehicle, it is very important to understand what kind of weather you’re going to run into while you’re on your drive. The Weather Network recommends checking for any potential weather developments before you leave on your trip. Although some conditions such as blizzards, thunderstorms, or even windstorms call for a delay on when you can start your journey, more often than not, you might be able to deal with it. Drivers should understand that tires may not be at their best when it comes to driving through heavy snow or rain. Therefore, it is highly recommended that snow chains are attached to each tire in order to ensure proper traction when handling your vehicle. Failure to do so can place your passengers as well as yourself in serious danger.
Have a Full Tank of Gas
The problem with driving through mountains is that they are often not suitable for businesses to establish themselves on your route. You might travel over 100 miles without seeing a single gas station if you don’t plan ahead. Therefore, drivers should consider not only filling up their gas tank prior to driving through mountains but also having an extra tank on hand just in case.
It’s important to have a full tank of gas (or near full) because being stranded in the mountains can get very dangerous very quickly. Even if emergency crews know that you are there, it might take them hours to reach you. Thus, it is very important to come equipped for the drive, especially if you are traveling with kids. Kids, especially, are more prone to injury than adults. Best Car Seat Hub warns that over half of car seats are either the wrong size or attached incorrectly. In addition to making sure that your kids are safe, it is also important to bring a first aid kit and have enough your phone charged, or bring a power cable to make sure you can call for help if you need it.
Braking the Right Way
Mountains can produce a variety of dangers that force drivers to be extra cautious when driving through them. Icy Road Safety advises that reducing your speed is the most important thing to do when driving in snowy conditions. Hazardous items such as old trees, large clumps of snow, and wet patches are a normal occurrence. Therefore drivers must watch how they brake around each corner. Drivers must begin to brake before the turn actually happens rather than during the turn. Braking during the turn can lead your car’s momentum to push you off the road and towards the edge of a cliff or towards roadside objects such as trees.
Mountains produce a lot of weather that changes very quickly. You might be driving through a clear road at one moment only to find yourself driving through thick fog five minutes later. Therefore, it is very important to make yourself as visible as possible. This means using your headlights to alert other cars that you are there with them. One of the most common strategies to alert cars of your presence during thick fog or heavy rains is to utilize your hazard lights.
If your next driving trip takes you through the mountains, then it is highly recommended that you adhere to the tips listed above. In addition, it is also recommended that you take into consideration the needs of your particular vehicle before putting it through these tough terrains.
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