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6 Tips For Driving in Ghats

By Finserv MARKETS - Aug 23,2019
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Driving Tips for Ghats


The ghats in South India provide an enchanting view of lush greenery and pristine nature. But driving along the twisted lanes of the ghats is a tricky affair. The twists and bends can leave the most skilled of drivers flummoxed. The roads have hairpin bends and sudden loops. The Koli Hill Road, for example, is infamous for its 70 continuous hairpin bends. Also called the ‘Mountain of Death’, it is located in Tamil Nadu, at the spot of Agaya Gangai waterfalls and a Shiva temple. These mountain or hill trails often have terrifying gorges. Not for the faint-hearted, the routes are extremely risky – one wrong acceleration and both you and your vehicle could be pulverised. It is, therefore, advised that you get a car insurance before heading out.

Here are a few precautions you should take while driving on these treacherous roads:

  • Use the handbrake as often as needed: It sounds obvious, but using the handbrake can be life-saving on the hills. The balance of the clutch and throttle may not be as easy – so the hand brakes can help adjust to the high levels of inclines.
  • Shift down gears around bends: In the ghats, you might need to keep the gear one notch higher than normal to give the vehicle a little more torque. Never go neutral on the gears. Don’t worry about fuel economy and keep changing gears as need be. For instance, if you reach a sharp turn or a hairpin bend, shift down to the third gear. Find the right balance constantly.
  • Be patient when overtaking. Give way to uphill traffic: The bends and curves can be very hard to navigate but remember they are hard for every driver on that road. If you intend to overtake, make sure you have enough room and visibility to overtake safely. Don’t blast the horn unnecessarily. In another decent gesture, give way to uphill traffic, because that direction requires much more effort.
  • Use horn at all bends, especially blind curves: Using the horn as a warning is a good practice on the hills. During the day when you have no headlight to guide you or warn you, horns become a saviour at the pointy curves. While blasting the horn regularly in an urban area is considered rude, a different set of rules apply to precarious mountain roads. Horns are seen as a way to prevent deadly collisions here, and are generally considered a health driving practice.
  • Stop at a wide stop, don’t block the way: A basic driving rule dictates that you shouldn’t be stopping in the middle of the road, ever. That would just hold up the traffic or cause a serious accident. This becomes all the more important in the tricky terrain of the hills. If you have to halt, find a wider area, or stop at a place where you are visible to traffic flow in both directions.
  • Stick to your lane: This is basic driving etiquette, but drivers often use the racing line method – driving around the corner in the shortest way possible. In reality, such tracks only suit racing tracks. There’s no place for such daredevilry on public roads, that too up a hill. The golden rule is to stick to your own lane to avoid collisions around blind curves.


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