Do I need 4WD? A question we frequently get. The answer is yes when snow or ice is present, 4WD/AWD is necessary to access most mountain vacation rentals, including High Rock Rentals, in Black Mountain and Asheville. Any other time, 2WD is perfectly sufficient to access all of High Rock Rentals log cabins. If you’ve grown up in the south, like many, you likely find yourself ill-prepared to drive in inclement weather. However, even the most seasoned drivers can easily find themselves in over their heads in the curvy mountain roads of Western North Carolina in the winter. While winding your way to and from your cozy mountain rental, keep these safety tips in mind:
• Slow it down. The roads are windy, there are blind turns, and snow may be present. For all of these reasons, do your best to maintain a slow and steady pace when handling the mountain curves.
• Lights on. North Carolina law states that headlights must be on when using windshield wipers. Even if it’s daytime, be sure your headlights are on to help you best see through the fog, snow, or rain. Be sure your headlights and taillights are cleaned off and in working order before taking off.
• Beware of the blind. Blind curve, that is. Windy roads are constructed by cutting into the edges of the mountain. This results in deep cliffs, sudden turns, and sharp elevations.
• Stay away from slips and skids. Shaded roads result in slippery black ice. Keep your eyes peeled for parts of the road like these that can cause your car to skid across the roadway. While there are guardrails present in case of emergency, you want to avoid scraping your car against these at all costs. However, if you do start to skid – stay calm. Steer the car in the direction of the skid without over-correcting while pumping your car’s brakes.
• Deer, oh dear. These large animals account for a significant number of car accidents each year. If spot a deer attempting to cross the road, slow down and watch for its pal. These animals like to travel in packs of twos or threes.
• Watch your wheels. Having tires that aren’t up to speed is a recipe for disaster. In a perfect senario you would make sure your tires have The Severe Snow Rating. These tires ensure better traction on snow and ice than their normal counterparts. However you can purchase cables or tire chains as well. It is always best to be sure your tire tread is at least 1/8th inch or greater. Lastly, double check your tire pressure. It drops in the winter months, so you may need to add an extra 2-4 pounds of air.
• Winterize your car. From winter wiper blades and windshield washer fluid to handy survival kits, prep your vehicle for the inclement weather. Survival kits should include warm blankets, extra antifreeze, hand warmers, first aid supplies, bottled water, nonperishable foods, and LED flashlights. Additionally, your car should be equipped with an ice scarper and brush.
• Let someone know. Always be sure that a trusted friend or family member knows your route and timing. They should know when you’re leaving and when you’re set to arrive at your destination.
We want your stay in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains to be as safe and stress-free as possible. Exercise caution when winding through the mountainous roads and be sure to follow all safety guidelines from local authorities.