Patience is key here. If you are unsure you’ll find the lane beside you to be empty, no problem. Wait it out and attempt to overtake once you certainly know it’s empty. The overtaking procedure is pretty much standard, honk the horn, flash the high beams, use the turn signals indicating the lane you are changing to and complete the maneuver in one smooth sequence.
The Correct Gear
Your car has a wonderful device called the gearbox which will help you the most on hilly roads. While moving uphill, gravity is working against you by making you go slower. It is best to stay in a lower gear where the torque output will be maximum. For the downhill section, a lot of people have this misconception that they can stay in neutral and coast away. This is a very dangerous thing to do as gears also act as speed modifiers and can give you that extra bit of stopping power when necessary. For the downhill section, you can stay a gear higher than an uphill section. Gravity is also helping you in this case so you don’t need a mountain load of torque. Having an extra gear in hand also gives you room for engine braking which really comes in handy on such roads.
Fill-up on fuel
Most fuel stations in hilly areas shut down in the evening. And if you are in a remote location, you may not come across one even during the day. So as a rule, stock up on fuel to avoid getting stranded in the middle of your journey.
Right of way
Always keep in mind that the vehicles going uphill have the right of way. Do not try to circumvent this rule as it will ultimately lead to some sort of accident.
The usefulness of road signs is really underestimated by drivers. In the hilly areas, road signs provide you with all the important communications of the road ahead. Hillside roads are narrow, very unpredictable and somewhat dangerous too. So, in such places, you will never be able to predict that the docile looking turn ahead of you leads into an unexpected incline. But if you were vigilant enough to observe the inclined ‘road ahead’ sign before the turn, you will be prepared in advance. Therefore, be sure to observe road signs and keep the presence of mind to react accordingly in time.
Tackling Hairpin Bends
Hairpin bends are the most difficult types of turns to tackle on hilly roads. But if you know the right technique, you can do so with ease and with peace of mind. The key rule for turning through a hairpin bend is to always slow down, be it uphill or downhill. When you are going uphill, slow down before the turn, shift down to a lower gear and accelerate through the turn. A very important point to remember here is that you need to be highly observant if any car is coming from above.
For downhill, again slow down before the turn and take your foot off the accelerator. Gravity is assisting you so you don’t need any extra output from the car. Take the turn while modulating only the brakes if necessary and punch the accelerator after you have taken the turn. It’s much easier to spot oncoming vehicles while moving downhill so that’s not going to be much of a problem.
Fog and rain
One of the major hazards of hilly areas is fog. If your car is equipped with fog lights, make sure you use them. During winter, the fog may be so thick that you will be not be able to see the cars bonnet, let alone the road in front of you. If this is the case, stop at the first safe parking zone you find and do not continue until conditions have improved. Also remember to drive slowly during foggy weather. Often, you will come across bullock carts or cyclists who may not have reflective lights on their vehicles