How to drive in the mountains and be safe ?
Here is some invaluable advice to make your journey as calm, enjoyable and safe as possible.
Be well equipped:
Depending on the frequency of your trips to the mountains and the amount of snow, your car must be equipped in function at it’s best.
Snow tyres provide major assistance whilst on the road but are a big investment. Chains can be fitted to the driving wheels in case of an abundance of snow and will limit the risk of skidding and running off the road.
Certain routes and particularly roads covered with snow are only accessible by vehicles with chains secured. Download an application on your telephone to be kept informed of these regulations.
Check list before the departure:
It is important to anticipate the hazards of the route.
Make sure the brakes are in perfect condition, front and rear lights plus the tyres. Change if need be your windscreen wipers and adjust the level of oil. Finally, check the condition of your spare wheel .Fill your water container connected to the windscreen wipers to an antifreeze liquid specifically for that purpose.
As before taking any long route by car, it’s better to add a container water, some food reserves,and some blankets , add tools and a first-aid kit to the list therefore providing for all contingencies. Prepare, please, your route by consulting the weather report and conditions generally. Prior to departing check again snowfalls and weather outlook. Postpone if it appears your route has become more difficult, If you can’t delay, take at least a shovel and do not forget your chains !
Drive slowly, especially around the bends if your visibility is reduced. Lengthen the security distances between cars to avoid surprises and to reduce the risks of a collision. Use your horn before difficult bends to indicate to oncoming drivers.
Effects of snow or ice
Start your car gently and let the engine warm up a few minutes before setting off. Drive slowly, leaving security distance between you and the car in front . In case of loss of control whilst driving around a bend, stop and turn the wheel in the opposite direction very smoothly to regain the control of the wheel. Always anticipate possible tricky moments, then you can calmly resolve the problem. Opt rather for the main roads which are the first to be cleared of snow .
If the conditions really worsen or you do not feel capable of driving, stop by the side of the road ,making sure you are clear of traffic and not creating a hazard ! activate your warning lights and wait calmly ,eventually machines will arrive to apply salt to the roads so you can proceed.
Safe journey to you all !