Even if you’re a daily driver who is confident behind the wheel, remember that traveling in unfamiliar terrain or weather conditions can be a real game-changer.
Mountain roads and high altitudes can put extra stress on cars, so make sure your engine, transmission, brake pads, and tires are in good condition. Find out in advance if mountain roads require chains or snow tires in the winter.
When descending steep mountain roads, put your transmission in a lower gear if possible, so you don’t have to ride your brakes as hard.
When driving through desert areas, I’ve got two words for you: dust storms.
Be prepared to pull over because dust storms can drastically reduce your visibility. What travelers may not realize is that desert roads can also get icy in the winter.
Ice is also common on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, even if the temperatures are above freezing.
No matter where you are, driving in icy conditions requires going slowly with plenty of room to stop.
And if you’re driving in a region that doesn’t get a lot of precipitation, unexpected storms can cause slick roads and send less-experienced drivers out of control.
Keep your distance and never get distracted by texting or phone calls when dealing with unfamiliar or dangerous conditions.
Learn more in our Driving & Car Rental section.
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