Our country is home to an extravagantly diverse range of geographic features. From the snow-covered mountains of the Himalayas to the coastal plains down south, we have a lot going on in between. Each of these regions is home to different climatic conditions, physical conditions, and most importantly different terrain to drive on. So when you are planning a road trip, it is very likely that you will come face to face with different road surfaces to drive over. All these roads require a specific method of approach so that you can traverse them properly with ease. So here we have listed some useful tips to help you drive on the different types of terrain you can find in the country.
Hilly roads need to be handled with extra care as mistakes done there could have catastrophic outcomes. The one thing you need to remember is that along with your vehicle’s momentum, gravity is also playing a major role in keeping your car moving. For uphill climbs, gravity will act against you and for the downhill, it will make you go faster. While going up it is essential to be in the right gear which will give enough torque to climb up.
If you are on a gear too low you could end up in a wheel spin and on the other hand, if it’s too high, you won’t have the adequate power to climb up. For the descent slow down before the road slopes downwards to make any necessary adjustments. Keep the brakes ready and never keep the clutch fully pressed. The clutch is an inherent brake which exerts its force directly on the engine. It can come in really handy along with appropriate braking force. Never completely rely on the brakes as well since you risk wheel lock and going off the road.
Also Read: Essential Car Driving Tips for The Hills
Dry roads are never a problem but any dry road anywhere will become a problem if it starts to rain. Rain requires extra attention from the driver on the tyre grip and the visibility. Wet roads imply your car’s rubber tyres would be as tempted as possible to slip out due to loss of traction. In case your car does start hydroplaning, never panic. Take your foot off the accelerator and divert majority of your focus to the steering.
Lightly tap the brakes to reduce the speed and get your car back into your control. The next aspect is visibility. During heavy rainfall visibility also becomes a major problem. Keep your windshield wipers on the max setting at all times. In case of condensation on the inside, stop on the side of the road and clean it off with a cloth. In fact, if the rain itself is too strong, come to stop on the side of the road away from traffic. Turn your hazards on and wait for the rain to mellow down a bit before moving again.
Also Read: Useful Rain Driving Tips
Muddy surfaces can get very tricky because it’s hard to determine if the mud is dried up or wet from a distance. Dried up hard mud doesn’t cause a lot of problems. Just keep your windows up and roll through the mud with the throttle in the middle area of the RPM-band. Wet mud however will certainly cause problems if you don’t tackle the road properly. The key thing to keep in mind here is to always keep your momentum intact.
If you lose all your momentum, you will definitely get stuck in the mud and will have to be towed out. In the event that you feel that your wheels begin to lose traction and begin spin out, just slightly ease the throttle and let your tyres regain some grip. But at the same time, don’t ease out so much that you lose your momentum as well. Also select your gear thoughtfully. Any shifts in the mud will straight up interfere with the motion of your car and could make it come to a halt.
The likeliness of you meeting a snow covered road is pretty less in our country. It is most likely only going to happen if you hit the top of the Himalayan Range that too voluntarily. So you can be prepared for the snow beforehand. For driving on the snow, you need to compulsorily ensure that your car’s tyres are wrapped with a snow chain for the necessary grip. Without a snow chain you’re practically useless unless you have a 4×4 SUV with a dedicated snow driving mode. Even if you have snow chains, you can’t move like you normally would on any normal road. It’s only going to be peak traffic speeds at max. Keep an eye on the braking too. Sudden braking can still cause wheel locks despite the chains and it can happen more easily than it would on wet roads.
Grass is highly underestimated because it is really easy to drive over when dry. However, when grass is wet it can be one of the difficult terrains to traverse. Fresh grass when wet, can be almost as slippery as ice. So you’ll again have to keep a good watch on your speed and braking to wheel lock. Stay in the right gear and preferably not in first, to avoid the occurrence of wheel spin. Wet grass and elevation is a very deadly combination and is best avoided as you have a definite chance of spinning out. Don’t go too fast as thorny twigs and sharp rocks perfectly hide in the grass out of visibility.