Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Planning an off-road adventure? Here are some essential safety tips


Off-road driving doesn’t seem to be declining in popularity. It seems that more and more people seem to be getting a little tired of the feel of smooth concrete beneath their wheels. They need something bumpy and exciting. They don’t mind a bit of dirt. So what do they do? They buy the biggest vehicle they can afford and start driving in some muddy, rocky areas.


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Is this the smart way to go about it? Off-road driving is, almost by definition, not as safe as on-road driving. Actually, seeing as there aren’t as many other drivers when you’re off-road, maybe that statement isn’t true... In any case, it’s not as safe and simple as many tend to think.

If you’re tempted to start experimenting with off-road driving, it’s essential that you do it safely. So read on ahead and take this advice to heart.

The vehicle has got to be right for the job

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You can’t just get yourself a big vehicle and assume it’s going to do the trick. Not every Jeep is going to do precisely what you want it to do off-road. In fact, you may even want to take a look at the vehicle you’re already driving. A lot of people are using vehicles that are bigger and more powerful than they actually need.

Whatever the case, it’s best for you to consult with someone who knows what they’re talking about. The chances are you’ll have to buy a new vehicle for the job. Speak at length to the seller about what you need. How rough is the terrain you plan to drive it in?

Getting the equipment

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One of the biggest perks about off-road driving is that it takes you away from civilization. However, this also presents you with quite a few problems!

Civilization can be annoying, yes. But it’s filled with gas stops, convenience stores, lights, mechanics, etc. And if you run into a problem while you’re out in the wilderness, you could find yourself in danger. Make sure you have plenty of supplies - food, water, gas, spare tires. If things get dark, you’ll also want more lighting. After all, there aren’t any roadside lights to complement your headlights! Check out an off-road light buying guide if you’re stuck.

Location and practice

One of the great things about America? The variety and width of terrain in this country make it easy to locate decent off-road locations. Right? Well, what looks like a fun off-road ride might not end up being that great. It takes skill to drive off-road safely. So perhaps the best advice I can give you is that you should practice.

Find a good practice spot and get to know how your vehicle operates on that terrain. Don’t go driving off way out into the distance before you’ve given yourself a good spin a bit closer to the road. Otherwise, you could end up putting yourself in more danger than you need to. Once you’ve become accustomed to the art, only then you should venture out further. You could even do a little tour of the best off-road trails in the country!


** This is a collaborative post

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