Safety Tips for Driving in Hilly Areas
There is nothing better than a drive through the hills to take in the beauty offered by nature and bask in its serenity. As enjoyable as this exercise is though, one needs to make sure it is done in a safe fashion so as not to spoil the experience. Despite the deceptive serenity of the hills, the path is usually hazardous, especially during the monsoon. Here are a few safety tips on what to expect and how to remain safe during such a journey.
Plan ahead! Make sure to check up on what kind of weather you will be facing on your journey and pack your luggage accordingly. It's probably going to be quite cold and rainy, so keep that mind. If you are going to encounter rain, make sure your wipers are in perfect condition and that you have topped up your wiper fluid.
Fill-up on fuel
Most fuel stations in hilly areas shut down in the evening. And if you are in a remote location, you may not come across one even during the day. So as a rule, stock up on fuel to avoid getting stranded in the middle of your journey.
Right of way
Always keep in mind that the vehicles going uphill have the right of way. Do not try to circumvent this rule as it will ultimately lead to some sort of accident.
Headlights and high beam
Switching on your headlights during the day may sound foolish, but on the hills this is advisable. One side of the hill will always be in the shadow and this is where you will need your headlights to warn people. However remember not to flash your high beam directly onto any incoming vehicle in front of you as this may blind them temporarily. The whole idea is to see and be seen!
Never get into a contest of speed or skill with anyone on hilly roads. It will almost certainly lead to an accident. If you are going faster than the person in front of you, try overtaking on a straight stretch of road. Never try and attempt an overtake at a sharp curve or blind turn as there could be oncoming traffic.
If the weather is extremely cold, avoid using the sprinkler as the water may freeze on your windshield, which will eventually lead to obstruction of your view. If by chance your windshield has frozen water on it, make sure you stop by a safe spot on the side and clean it off or use the thermal windshield heating system if your car is equipped with such a feature.
Fog and rain
One of the major hazards of hilly areas is fog. If your car is equipped with fog lights, make sure you use them. During winter, the fog may be so thick that you will be not be able to see the cars bonnet, let alone the road in front of you. If this is the case, stop at the first safe parking zone you find and do not continue until conditions have improved. Also remember to drive slowly during foggy weather. Often, you will come across bullock carts or cyclists who may not have reflective lights on their vehicles.