Rain, Sleet, Snow, Oh No! 5 Tips for Safe Mountain Driving
Visiting the mountains can be a wonderful and inspiring experience, especially if you come from somewhere flat and dull. Mountains can provide amazing access to wildlife, hiking, camping and more, but they can also come with unstable weather patterns. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t venture far and wide during your mountain explorations, but you should always be careful, especially when it comes to driving on winding roads.
1. Car Preparation Checklist
Hopefully, you’re taking good care of your vehicle anyway, but if not, you should at least give it a look over before taking off into the mountains. Check to ensure that your windshield wipers, defrosters, brakes and heater are in good working order. Also, be sure to check for wear and tear on your tires. A tire blowout or other malfunction could be much more dangerous while driving on mountain roads.
2. Pack For Emergencies
It’s a good idea to stash an emergency kit in your car at all times, but it’s a necessity when you’re going to be traveling through the mountains. Always include emergency food and water, first-aid items, road flares, anti-freeze lock spray, ice scrapers, warm clothing and blankets. Keep your cell phone charged and be aware of its location in the car in case you have an accident. It could be used to track your location even if you don’t have reception.
3. Avoid Bad Weather
You may be the adventurous type, but braving the mountains during rainy or snowy weather is a bad idea. Whether you’re planning a hiking trip or simply a drive through the hills, always keep an eye on the weather report. If you see a storm approaching, plan your trip for a few days later. Driving in slippery road conditions is always dangerous, but on winding roads at high altitudes, it could very likely be deadly.
4. Watch Your Speed
This tried-and-true driving advice applies to almost any situation, but it’s especially important while navigating winding mountain roads. When coming around corners, you never know what might be in front of you. This could include a crossing deer, a stalled vehicle or a slow-moving cyclist.
If you’re going too fast, you will find yourself unable to stop in time and instead be forced to choose between either hitting whatever is in your way or darting around it, which could cause you to lose control. You would also be facing a lawsuit as well as your injuries.
If this were to happen, make sure you have a good defense attorney such as the ones found at Auger & Auger. No one wants the guilt of causing a fatal accident. So, do not put yourself in a situation that can be prevented.
5. Don’t Cross the Center Line
You probably know the scenario: You’ve been driving on a quiet mountain road and haven’t seen another car for the past half hour. Your passenger is getting a little car sick or scared of the drop-off seen from the passenger side, and in an effort to reduce the dizziness and fear, you begin cutting across into the oncoming lane as you go around curves. Most drivers have been guilty of this practice from time to time, but it’s never a safe thing to do. All it takes is one car doing the same thing in the opposite direction and you’re going to experience a head-on collision.
This would be a travesty for both parties involved. Again, you would need an experienced attorney to sort out the damages and the responsible party. Sadly, in this case you may be stuck with your own damages, because you are at fault as well as the other party. Situations like these can get very complicated and have long lasting effects on both drivers. It is not worth the risk to you or to others.
The mountains can almost always guarantee an enjoyable time as long as you make the effort to be safe. Sometimes, risks seem manageable, but no adventure could possibly be worth your life or the life of someone else on the road. Commit to driving carefully today, and you will live to experience many wonderful trips in the future.
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