‘Tis the season for driving holidays in the hillside but take note of these travel tips before hitting the hills and mountain trails…
As the weather vane swivels to warm, it’s time to pick the dinky up and move to the mountains for some respite. But keep these eight time-tested tips from travellers in mind:
1 Check brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, heater and exhaust. Top up the brake and transmission fluids. Check tyre treads for grip and ensure that they are properly inflated.
2 While zooming down slopes is tempting, fight the urge. And don’t use your brakes to hold your downhill speed.
3 On steep upgrades, shift down a gear or two, watch the temperature gauge and turn off the AC to avoid overheating.
4 Mountain driving is not about hogging the centre line. Since mountain roads can be narrow, this is both unwise and irritating to other drivers.
5 The car going UPHILL has the right of way. Yield!
6 Slowing down—whether it’s to view the scenery or because of a steep grade—is acceptable road behaviour. But if the traffic behind you is more than three vehicles, then get a move on!
7 Carry extra drinking water, and remember to drink fluids throughout the day. At higher elevations, insufficient hydration can often cause the onset of altitude sickness.
8 Take frequent breaks. Keep road times to no more than six hours per day.
And, above all, remember to relax and have fun!
Need to cool the engine? Park off the road in a safe place and keep the vehicle idling. Don’t shut off the engine. Never remove a hot radiator cap.