Driving on mountain terrain is much different than driving on flat roads. It is exhilarating and beautiful, but it can also be tiring as you have to be even more alert and cautious, and can cause extra wear and tear on your vehicle.
Many Delta Car & Truck Rentals customers rent cars from our Delta or Vanouver Island locations and then head up to the mountains to enjoy the scenery and the full mountain experience. Here are our tips for Safe Mountain Driving for both yourself and the vehicle.
- Make sure that your brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, heater and exhaust systems are in good working condition. Even if it’s warm where you are before heading up to the mountains, once you’re in elevation, you may need to switch on your heat and defroster.
- Don’t go down a mountain road any faster than you can go up it. Be very aware of your speed going downhill, it’s very easy to zoom on down and quickly feel out of control.
- Don’t “hug” the centre line. Most roads on the mountain are narrower than regular roads, and some drivers have a tendency to hug the centre line. However, because you cannot see cars coming around the bends, try to stay in the centre of your lane as much as possible.
- The car going uphill should be given the right of way. It’s not as easy for cars going uphill to maneuver as quickly and safely as those going downhill.
- Slowing down to view scenery is acceptable, but you have to ensure you maintain awareness. If traffic behind you grows to more than three vehicles, look for a designated pullout and let traffic pass.
- Drink extra water throughout the day to stay hydrated. When you are at hgher elevation, insufficient hydration can lead to altitude sickness.
- Take frequent breaks. Navigating the mountains is more tiring than driving on flat land as it requires you to much more alert and aware of your surroundings. Ensure you take frequent breaks and consider breaking up your driving time to shorter distances.