Hills have their own charm when it comes to driving. Winding roads with their twists and turns are full of surprises. Sometimes there are deep valleys and tall mountains that can be seen and sometimes there are dense forests surrounding the road. If you enjoy driving, then go slow and soak yourself in the natural beauty of these hills.
Here are some pointers for a safe drive –
- Drive slow and do not overtake if you can’t see the empty road up to a considerable distance.
- On narrow stretches of road, give way to vehicles that are climbing. Seasoned hill drivers tend to park their vehicles wherever the road is a little broad and let the climbing vehicles pass.
- Blowing horn is frowned upon but on blind turns it helps to let the other drivers know that you are approaching the turn. So do honk before taking a blind turn.
- During night time, always lower/dip your headlight, letting the person from the other side see the road.
- While going downhill, let the car roll in whatever gear seems to give you stable speed without too much of braking. A rule of thumb is to use the same gear as you would while climbing on such a road. The engine braking relies on engine which can withstand tough working conditions, whereas brakes can heat up and fail. Never let the car move in neutral or with the engine switched off.
- While climbing up, if you have to stop, use the handbrake when the vehicle has come to halt. It prevents the car from rolling back when you resume your climb.
- When parking on an incline – Engage your hand-brake, put the car in gear, turn the front wheels to an angle facing a wall or climb and use wheel chocks (or small rocks or bricks).
Some things to be careful of –
- Big vehicles like buses and trucks have a long turning radius and a long vehicle body as well. So, on difficult turns, they may come to the other side of the road unexpectedly. This is very common on ‘U-turns’
- Taxi drivers in general drive very fast. Here they do not believe in saving fuel but instead try to save time so that they can make multiple trips.
- Sometimes drivers use turning indicators to let the other vehicles know that it is safe to overtake them. It takes some experience to understand the intention of the driver – whether it is to turn or to let you overtake!