Hill driving safety tips

 

Hill driving safety tips

Source: FleetAnswers When it comes to non-weather road hazards, hills are, perhaps, one of the more challenging risks. Hills create quite a number of dangers, including slipping hazards, decreased visibility and the surprise strain on your engine. With a large load, getting up a hill can also put extreme strain on the engine and demand more fuel than regular driving. Add slippery roads to the mix in rain, snow or ice, and the risk increases even more.

Avoiding hills is not possible, especially for cross-country driving. Because of this, drivers need to understand the risks associated with driving on hills in order to practice proper hill safety. Even drivers with the best track record can come across surprises on hills, and it's critical for them to know what theses hazards are. These fleet safety tips for hill driving will help drivers be more aware and prepared for the hazards they may face while driving on hills.

Tips for Approaching Hills

The approach is often where accidents and mistakes happen, because driver's expect problems when coming down the hill, not coming up. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Watch for signage - Hills with hazards, like falling rocks or deceptive grades, will have signage that indicate their characteristics. When approaching a hill, watch for this type of signage, and heed it.
  • Slow down - Do not speed up to try to get up the hill. Slow down, especially as you approach the top of the hill. Towards the top, the contour of the road will make it difficult to see, so going too quickly will make risks even more hazardous.
  • Prepare for surprises - As you approach a hill, know that you are going to face surprises. Start being more aware, so any animal, vehicle, or road obstruction doesn't turn into a catastrophe.
  • Note the weather - Wet or icy roads can make it more challenging to get up the hill, so note the weather as you approach.
  • Prepare for less visibility - The surprising risk of hills is the fact that you can't see what's coming. Be prepared for limited visibility as you approach the crest.
  • Yield to downhill travelers - If on a narrow road or other situation where someone must yield to oncoming traffic, always yield to the downhill vehicle, which will have trouble stopping.

Tips for the Descent

When you descend the hill, you need some additional tips. Consider these:

  • Slow down - The hill will cause some natural speed increases, so slow down to avoid speeding too quickly. Also, it's difficult to stop on a hill, so a slower speed is wise.
  • Downshift - Running at a lower gear will help hold you back so you don't get going too fast. This will also help reduce wear and tear on your breaks.

Use brakes wisely - Use brakes wisely to maintain a safe speed, but avoid situations where you need to stop suddenly on a hill, if possible.

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