Stay Safe While Driving Through Mountains
The twisting slopes and narrow roads of mountain ranges require a bit more skill than normal city driving. Many drivers are not used to such conditions and may struggle with hazards such as an overheating engine. But don’t worry! This article is full of pointers to help you navigate mountains with agility.
Prevent Your Engine from Overheating
Steep slopes put extra strain on your car’s engine and brakes, so take steps to prevent overheating. Turn off the air conditioning to reduce the strain on your engine. When driving uphill, shift into a lower gear in order to maintain a consistent speed. Find rest stops along the way where you can pull over and let the engine idle and cool for a few minutes. If the engine starts to overheat and you can’t pull over, blast the heater to direct heat away from the engine.
Riding the brakes can cause them to overheat and fail after a period of time. Instead, use the engine and transmission to slow the car. If your car is automatic, shift into “2” or “L.” If your car is manual, shift into a lower gear. This helps your car utilize the slowing power of its engine rather than the brakes. Remember, when you do need to brake, apply them firmly and quickly so you don’t need to ride them for long.
Watch for Hazards
Most mountain hazards stem from limited visibility around blind corners. Stay on your side of the road and leave plenty of space between your car and the car in front of you. Do not pass cars unless you have a clear view of the road ahead. Look out for speed limit signs and signs that warn about steep slopes ahead. If you stop to enjoy the view, engage your parking brake; you may even wish to wedge rocks behind your tires to prevent rolling.
Check your coverage before heading off on a road trip. Call McDonald Insurance Group for more information on Colorado auto insurance.