Off road driving can be eventful for individuals that have either the wrong type of vehicle or don’t have any driving experience in this type of terrain. As a sport this can be very exciting but hazardous therefore understanding the risks are important. We have pulled together some tips for you to be aware of and take into consideration.source
Your vehicle Choice
Not all vehicles are suitable for off-road terrain. Using a ford focus or similar for example wouldn’t be advised. Generally, the best known vehicles that are used off-road are 4 by 4’s. Clearly these are larger and have the wheels and tires that are designed for the off-road surface (and good grip). They will also have a flexible suspension. Saying that, if the terrain is flat and non-hazardous then the driving technique plays an important part in getting you from A to B safely and efficiently. Some common off-road vehicles include Land Rovers, Jeep CJ and Dodge Ram which are all equipped with an off road bumper.
Your vehicle preparation
Before heading out on your adventure it is crucial that your vehicle is prepared for this type of journey. It may sound a no brainer but take a walk around your vehicle and ensure that there is no obvious leakages or strange sounds from the engine. Ensure if you are taking any equipment with you that it is securely tightened to the vehicle. Checking your tire pressure is suffice. For off road adventures, generally the tire pressure is less than your normal highway journeys. Remember though that if you are changing your tyre pressure specifically for this, you pump them back up to the correct level for your on-road journey. Finally, it is important you plan for this to be a safe trip therefore have a quick check to make sure your seat belts are operating correctly and that your headlights are fine.
It is not uncommon for people to get stuck when off-road driving. It would be wise for you to always drive with someone to ensure you have a level of support if this happens. If you feel that the road is too difficult to get through, then it may be an idea to about turn and find an alternative. Also check out the weather before departing to understand if there is potential to be snow or heavy rain which would impact your journey. If you do get stuck, then have some wood and rope carried in your car may come in useful especially if its mud you are stuck in. Use the wood to go in front of your wheels to get a grip or in an emergency you may even need to use the rope to help pull you out (another vehicle pulls you out). If all else fails, then make sure you are a member of a car breakdown service and covered for this sort of eventuality and give them a ring.