The monsoon season is here, and most of us will be going on weekend getaways to hill stations. So we will encounter ghats, which most of us would drive upon. Driving in ghats, or mountainous regions, can be a thrilling and picturesque experience. However, it also comes with its fair share of challenges and potential risks. The winding roads, steep inclines, sharp curves, and unpredictable weather conditions demand extra caution and preparation from drivers. Whether you are a seasoned traveller or a novice exploring ghats for the first time, following these five safety tips will help ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.
Prepare your vehicle
Before embarking on a ghat journey, it is essential to ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition. Pay attention to the following aspects
a) Brakes: Ensure that your brakes are in good working order, as steep descents can put significant strain on them.
b) Tires: Check your tire tread depth and pressure regularly, as these are crucial for maintaining traction on winding roads.
c) Fluids and Lights: Verify that your vehicle’s fluid levels, including brake fluid and engine oil, are adequate. Moreover, check all lights, including headlights, taillights, and turn signals, to ensure they are functional.
Adapt your driving style
Driving in ghats requires a different approach than driving on straight highways. Here are some key points to keep in mind:
a) Reduce speed: Drive at a controlled speed that allows you to navigate curves and obstacles effectively. Avoid sudden accelerations or braking, as they can cause a loss of control.
b) Maintain a safe distance: Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you to allow ample time for braking and reacting to unexpected situations.
c) Use low gears: When climbing uphill or descending, use lower gears to enhance control over your vehicle’s speed. This reduces the strain on your brakes and helps avoid overheating.
Safety tips in Ghats – Stay alert and focused
Vigilance is crucial while driving in ghats due to the constant changes in road conditions. Consider the following tips to stay alert:
a) Avoid distractions: Minimise distractions such as using mobile phones, adjusting the radio, or engaging in lengthy conversations.
b) Watch for road signs: Pay close attention to warning signs indicating sharp turns, steep slopes, or potential hazards ahead.
c) Be aware of weather conditions: Weather in mountainous regions can change rapidly. Stay updated on weather forecasts and be prepared for fog, rain, or other adverse conditions.
Take frequent breaks
Driving in ghats can be physically and mentally demanding. Taking regular breaks allows you to rest and rejuvenate, preventing fatigue-related accidents. Find safe spots to park your vehicle, stretch your legs, and take in the breathtaking scenery. Adequate rest will help you maintain focus and react better to unexpected situations on the road.
Safety tips in Ghats – Be courteous and patient
Remember that you are sharing the road with other drivers, including residents and fellow travellers. Practising patience and being courteous go a long way in ensuring a safe and harmonious driving experience. Respect the speed limits, yield to oncoming vehicles at narrow stretches, and always use your indicators to communicate your intentions.
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