With Memorial Day unofficially kicking off the summer season, many will be heading to the mountains to enjoy the cooler temperatures and fresh mountain air.
But driving in the mountains brings several challenges not appreciated in the Front Range and plains.
5 tips for safely navigating the mountain roads of Colorado:
- Stay focused – While we go to the mountains for the beautiful scenery, that scenery can become a distraction. Don’t let the scenery distract you from staying in your lane.
- Abide by the right of way – Many mountain roads are narrow and create a tight squeeze for two vehicles trying to pass each other going in opposite directions. Vehicles traveling up have the right of way. Downhill traffic should move over to the side as far as safely possible or back up, if necessary, to allow uphill traffic to pass safely.
- Keep an eye on the temperature gauge to avoid overheating – While climbing mountain roads, keep an eye on your temperature gauge and maintain it in the cool range. Using your air conditioning makes your engine work harder, especially while climbing. Turning the A/C off can prevent your engine from overheating. If your car has an automatic transmission and is continually shifting into overdrive to maintain speed, shift to a lower gear or reduce your acceleration and move to the right for a smoother climb.
- Don’t ride your brakes – When coming down the mountain, downshift to a lower gear and pump your brakes for added slowing if necessary. Riding the brakes creates friction between the brake pads, making them hot. Hot brakes can become less effective, increasing the risk that they may fail to adequately stop your car.
- Beware of wildlife – Mountains mean wildlife. Watch for animals such as deer and elk on the side of the road, and slow down as you pass by them. Always check for traffic around you and anticipate that an animal on the side of the road may unexpectedly wander or jump out into traffic.
If you or anyone you know has been involved in a motor vehicle collision while in the mountains or anywhere else, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Bell & Pollock to discuss your individual legal game plan for handling your case.