By Samuel Smith
Last updated on: March 12, 2020 at 1:36 pm
Like showering, dressing and chugging coffee, getting behind the wheel is second nature for most of us.
In fact, it’s alarmingly easy to drive to and from work, to the shops or to pick the kids up from school without much thought at all.
While we may have our local roads memorised down to the location of meteorite-sized potholes, congested side streets and hair-raising roundabouts, hazards are harder to avoid when venturing further from home.
In unfamiliar territory, driving is an entirely different ball game. From slippery gravel trails to tight mountain passes, here’s how to tackle 5 road types that are abundant in South Australia but feared by many.
1. Winding roads
Where you’ll find them: Most parts of the Adelaide Hills, especially Gorge Rd, Greenhill Rd, Upper Sturt Rd, Corkscrew Rd and Old Norton Summit Rd.
How to deal with them: Reduce your speed, especially around corners.
To increase visibility, turn on your parking lights. Before you set off, check your coolant, tyre inflation and engine oil level. When roads are narrow, give way to traffic going uphill, and, when approaching hairpin turns, ensure all your braking is done before you reach the corner. Do not brake through the apex of the turn, as this is a recipe for over-steer.
If you’re driving in mist or fog, dramatically reduce your speed and turn on your fog lights. Use your wipers to keep the windscreen clean, leave a greater distance between yourself and the car in front, and always keep an eye out for cyclists, pedestrians and wandering wildlife. In foggy conditions, obstructions can be even harder to spot.