There is a popular saying that we learn by mistakes. But there are some mistakes that are too dire to experience, the lessons learned from it may appear expensive, painful and even life-threatening.
Road accidents can occur at any time and anyplace. Statistics show that accidents from single vehicles are the most common accidents, invariably resulting in death.
Now, for an off-road adventurer who loves the thrill of cruising a 4×4 on uneven plains, on train tracks or through a cornfield to spot amazing works of nature, your safety must first be guaranteed. There are some measures that should be put in place to ensure that minimal damage is done to your car while reaching your destination in due time.
So, what are those tips you should adhere to ensure your safety when driving off-roading? We’ll be looking into them briefly. While you’re here, you can shop this site for awesome jeep decals.
Get some off-road essentials.
There are some off-road safety essentials you need to get before you begin that off-road adventure. These items are sure to make all the difference between having a fun adventure or being stuck with no help in sight.
- Spare tire. This is probably the important item to pack along with your camping materials. You may have a bumpy ride literally, and if one of your tires get punctured, the spare is an easy replacement if handy. Ensure that the spare tire of the same size as the ones on your vehicle and is in good condition
- Guidebooks & Maps. Make no mistake; Car GPS can be faulty and your smartphone may go off if you’re relying on the map inside. Getting a guidebook or map is necessary to ensure a smooth cruise.
- First aid kit. This is a no-brainer.
- Uncertainties can come up at any time. You may have a punctured tire in the middle of the night. Now, relying on the torchlight of your cell phone to change the tire won’t do justice to fixing everything on time.
- Water…loads of water. Since you’re going to cruise through different terrain, you may consume more water than you think. A gallon of water will do.
- Portable shovel. Sometimes you might need to fill in some holes or move some dirt out of the trail. A portable shovel will make all the difference.
- To protect your hands from injuring when replacing a punctured tire, packing gloves along with your tools is important.
- Rain gear. Even if the weather forecast is favorable, there could be a sudden change. You need to be fully prepared when it does happen. It is therefore advisable to keep a portable weather station (see weather station reviews here) in your car at all times along with rain gear to keep you covered in case of an unpleasant weather condition or to help you prepare for it.
Inspect your vehicle.
Before venturing out, take out some time to walk around your vehicle and inspect it. Check the tires if the air pressure is sufficient for the journey. Ensure that the oil is at the right level, and the coolant level is sufficient. Also, check if the wiper fluid is fully operational. It is important to inspect the vehicle for leaks or spills.
If the terrain is unknown, you need to maintain a slow and steady pace on the trail. You can easily spot and avoid the bumps on the road when you’re cruising steadily. On the plus side, you will enjoy the nature that surrounds you.
Have a co-pilot if you can help it.
If you love to enjoy nature with people, it is best to get someone who will ride shotgun beside you. This person will not only act as your navigator but will ensure that you stay focused on the road. In cases when you become tired, they can take the wheels while you grab a snack. Also, if the vehicle gets stuck, you have a companion you can rely on to help out.
Eyes on the road.
If you’re driving alone, a little distraction from the road can be very dangerous, especially if you’re off-roading. If finding the right radio station is a difficulty when driving, ease the car to a stop, tune to the right station and continue your journey. Better safe than sorry.
Checks the indicators.
As you’re cruising through the uneven plains, take out time to look at the indicators and measurements. It will put you in a position to know when the vehicle is overheating, or if the fuel is running low.
Use low RPM.
When off-roading, ensure that low gear is used to drive the vehicle with considerable speed. Unless there is an obstacle to overcome, maintain low engine rpm throughout the duration of your journey.
Check the unknown depths first before driving across.
When off-roading and you encounter a puddle sitting at the middle of the trail, bring the car to a halt. You can work out how deep the water is by exploring with your foot. Or you can grab a stick and gauge the depth. These checks will save you a lot of time you would spend getting your vehicle out of a deep puddle.
Stay on marked trails.
If you’re off-roading and the terrain is strange to you, keep your vehicle on the marked trails. Most of the marked trails are usually created by volunteers who have studied the terrain well enough to create the best trail for transit. Do not go off creating a new trail.
Do not switch gears in the middle of a hill.
It is highly recommended when off-roading and approaching a hill or an obstacle, you should approach it with the highest gear. Do not make the mistake of switching in the middle of climbing the hill. The vehicle is bound to skid and can bring your car to a stop. The circumstances can be dire in this case.
In conclusion, when the right measures are followed, total safety and control of your vehicle is guaranteed. It is important therefore to take note of these tips discussed above if you’re a novice trying off-roading for the first time, or an expert road cruiser.