How to drive in the mountains like a local

We are currently coming out of the second wave of COVID-19 in India and states borders have slowly started to open up. With India Unlocking season 2.0, number of people interested in going to the tourist destinations is also increasing. Ladakh season is here and many hill stations have also opened up. As there is still a risk in using public transport, many will be preferring personal vehicles to reach these destinations. While many know how to drive in a city and plane, driving on a mountain road is quite different. For an experienced driver or a local it might be easy but, for an outsider it will be an entirely new experience. There are certain things that one must follow while driving on mountain roads and here we have a video that discusses just that.

The video has been uploaded by AB Ventures on their YouTube channel. In this video, vlogger who has experience in driving on mountain roads for almost 20 years shares tips for safe driving on these roads. One of the main difference is the road itself. Mountain roads are generally narrow and have several winding sections.

It is always recommended to drive in controlled speed on such roads and driving on lane is a must on such roads. In case there is a slow moving vehicle in front of you and you want to overtake it, you must be patient enough to see the road ahead clearly before overtaking. Generally on such mountain roads,  heavy vehicle drivers give way to smaller vehicles. One must always be patient while driving on mountain roads.

Always use horn in a curve to warn vehicles coming from the other side and if you are travelling at night please use low beam so that the driver coming from opposite direction can see the road properly. If you are driving uphill, always carry some momentum so that you vehicle doesn’t struggle at steep sections. Choosing right gear is also an important thing that driver must keep in mind while driving on such terrains. If your vehicle is not in the right gear, it will put more load on the engine and the car won’t perform properly.

How to drive in the mountains like a local

If you are driving uphill and a vehicle is coming down, you have the right to climb the section first as coming down does not require much efforts while going uphill requires power from engine. Always have a clear idea about the turning radius and dimensions of your vehicle as you might have to drive through some really narrow spots on such roads. Never park your vehicle near a cliff or under loose rocks.

If you have parked your vehicle at an inclined, use handbrake and engage first gear after stopping the engine. Putting a rock behind or in front of the tyre would also avoid the car from rolling down. If you are a person who finds it difficult to start at an inclined, engage handbrakes and then release the clutch and accelerate and then disengage handbrakes to move the vehicle forward without rolling back.

While coming down, never shut your engine and put your vehicle in neutral to save fuel. Doing so will cut power to the steering and brakes would also fail. While coming down use engine braking to control the speed. Using brakes constantly while coming down will heat up the brake pads and at times they might stop responding. Always maintain sufficient distance from the vehicle travelling in front. Never hurry on such mountain roads as doing so might turn out to be dangerous for you as well as others.

Ajeesh Kuttan

Ajeesh, started 6 years ago with as an eager journalist passionate about bikes. His skills now encompass both bikes and cars, producing timely news reports spanning the auto sector. Beyond writing, Ajeesh excels in video production. Together with Shantonil, he participates in first drives and test drives for new car launches. (Full bio)