How to Drive in the Mountains Safely

Author: Fernando Jimenez Date: January 19, 2018


Washington is full of beautiful scenery, and trips through the mountains are not uncommon. To arrive at your destination safe and sound, you need to know how to navigate the mountain roads safely. Follow these tips for driving safely on mountain roads.

Make Sure Your Vehicle is in Good Repair

Before going on a trip, make certain that your car is in good working order. Your tires should be well-inflated without any bald spots, and your gas tank should be full. Figure out what’s going on with any “check engine” lights to avoid breaking down on the side of the road where cell service is sparse, and you may not see another vehicle for hours.

Anticipate and Prepare for Going Downhill

You should brake before a downgrade instead of waiting until you are half way down a hill. This method gives you greater control and reduces the need for car maintenance prematurely since you are not wearing down the brakes as quickly. Shift into a lower gear before the downgrade as well. To do so, shift into “2” or “L” if your vehicle has an automatic transmission, and stay in a lower gear if it’s a manual. This will allow the slowing power from your engine to slow the car down. When you do need to use your brakes, go slightly above your ideal speed. Then apply the brakes until you are below your ideal speed and allow your car to speed up that speed. Repeat as needed. Once you’re on level ground, shift back into drive and use your brakes normally.

The Vehicle Going Uphill Should Be Given the Right of Way

In narrow mountain passes you may need to move over to allow another vehicle to pass. Remember that the vehicle going uphill has the right of way. If you are headed downhill, let the vehicle coming at you go first.

Be Prepared

Bring a change of clothes, a blanket, and enough food and water for a couple days with you. Cell service is not always available, and the weather can change quickly in the mountains. A dry change of clothes is needed if the ones you are wearing become damp. Being prepared could save your life.

Limit Distractions

Driving distracted can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Stay alert. Make sure that you are well rested and not drowsy. Do not let those in the vehicle distract you with music or anything else. Keep your cell phone down.

Obey the Law

When you are driving in the mountains, maintain reasonable speeds and be courteous to other drivers around you. If there are more than 3 cars behind you, look for a designated pullout area and pull over, allowing the traffic to pass. Stay on marked roads. Do not attempt to pass on a curve.

Driving in the mountains can be a fun and rewarding experience. Following these tips can keep you safe and help you arrive at your destination without harm. If you do encounter any problems during your trip, please contact The Advocates Injury Attorneys so that they can walk you through the legal process.

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