Driving 101: How To Drive In The Hills and Through Snow
For people residing in hilly regions, driving a car can be a tricky thing as sudden rainfall, slippery roads and persisting fog affect visibility and increase the chances of a mishap. Similar is the case with areas often experiencing snowfall. It becomes far more difficult for a newbie visiting such places as the level of risk is too high due to his/her unfamiliarity with the conditions.
However, if you are careful while driving and take a note of the below mentioned aspects, you can not only overcome these obstacles but even enjoy the scenic view outside.
Vision is your ultimate saviour while driving in such conditions. Drive slow, avoid overtaking vehicles at turns, and keep your car’s headlamps and fog lamps switched on for better visibility and for others to notice you. If the conditions are severely overcast, you should find a suitable place to park your vehicle, away from the driving lanes until the conditions improve.
2) Do not coast
Don't put the car in neutral to coast down a road.People do that to save fuel but that cuts off engine braking and can cause the car to go out of control. Engine braking helps keep a car’s speed in check and without it, your car will consistently gain speed. This needlessly increases risk and the pressure on your brakes.
3) Stick to your lane
Do not switch between lanes like you do on a sunny day on highways; instead, try to stick to your lane as far as possible and maintain a consistent pace.
Frequent lane changes can land you in trouble as it’s not only the visibility which is poor, the surface is slippery too and an oncoming/overtaking driver might not notice you.
4) Honk on blind corners
You’ll find plenty of hairpins and sharp corners to deal with, so always honk to alert the oncoming driver as soon as you approach a tight corner or a blind spot.
5) Black ice
Black ice is a major cause of accidents in snowy regions.
It’s a thin sheet of ice that envelopes the road and is virtually imperceptible since it’s thin and transparent. If one applies sudden brakes or accelerates beyond a point, the tyres of the vehicle lose all grip and the driver loses control of the vehicle.
Thus, driving slow is the key in these conditions.
6) Smooth steering
Give consistent steering inputs and go for smooth rather than sharp turn-ins at corners. Especially on snow, sudden steering inputs can make you lose grip, in which case you can't turn to avoid an accident, nor can you brake since stopping the tyres’ rotation won't kill the car's momentum.
Above all, get the car properly serviced and checked before you head on to your adventurous drive in the hills. Safe journey.