Canada’s Highway 5, also known as the Coquihalla Highway or “The Coq,” is located in southern British Columbia. While the Coq can offer beautiful, scenic views, a means of relaxation, and an efficient pathway to travel, its remoteness and harsh weather can land drivers in trouble.
Reaching a maximum height of 1,300-odd meters above sea level, the Coquihalla Pass can unarguably leave you and your party in a difficult situation. Here are several things you should keep in mind before heading out on the Coq, or any other remote stretch of unkind highway.
While mobile phones are great, they don’t always get service in remote locations. Satellite phones, although often expensive, get service just about anywhere on planet Earth. As such, you should consider purchasing a working satellite phone, charger, and service before leaving. Make sure you charge your phone before you leave, and don’t use it unless necessary.
Some motorcycle and car parts break more frequently than others. Further, some automobile parts are more necessary for driving as intended, whereas others aren’t so important. If you’re concerned about something breaking along the way and you don’t want to wait for help in subfreezing temperatures, bring some of the more important parts along with you—so long as they’re easy to haul with you. Parts like spare windshield wiper blades, an extra fuel tank cap, spark plugs, and any other small part you might need. If you have space, an extra gallon of fuel would be a good thing to bring as well.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a whopping 4% of drivers over 18 years of age have fallen asleep while driving over any month-long period.
Don’t ever operate your vehicle while tired, even if you think you’re not that tired. With Canada’s cold temperatures—especially during the winter months—you could find yourself in serious trouble like a crash because you accidentally fell asleep at the wheel.
Some medicines cause drowsiness, dizziness, and uneasiness. Make sure to ask your doctor if any medication you’re currently taking could impair your ability to drive. Better to be safe than sorry.
AAA is a roadside service subscription that partners with the Canadian Automobile Association, or CAA. These subscription services provide drivers across both nations with emergency roadside services, in case of breakdowns, flats, and more. One of the most commonly-used services is the car-towing service. If you don’t already have a subscription to AAA, get one, or you could get CAA if you’re going to be in Canada for a while.
Most trips you’ll ever make in an automobile will result in no accidents. However, failing to be prepared if accidents do happen is a common cause of further injury or even death. Make sure to adequately prepare for any road trip, particularly one taking you through remote areas of Canada.