It doesn’t matter if you are an old hand at going off road with a 4×4, or if you are just about to take your first steps in this exciting direction. Understanding how to keep yourself, your passengers and your car safe is important.
We have put together some safety tips for you, to help keep offroading the huge amount of fun it is meant to be.
Know your Vehicle inside and out!
- Take your vehicle for extended drives, know and understand its limitations and make sure you what it can handle and what it can’t. There are other things that you need to be aware of before you leave that kerbside:
- Know where your spare tire, jack and iron (or wrench) are and be sure that you know how to use them.
- Familiarise yourself with the dimensions of the car. This means its height, length, width, its turning circle and ramp angles. Knowing these will help prevent you getting stuck in awkward angles, and will tell you if you can fit through a space or not.
- Learn about your vehicle’s electronic stability control system, if it has one, and learn how it operates and why.
- You have a low ratio gearbox – practice using it and become familiar with it.
- Learn the location of air intake for the engine, and also where the computer is if there is one. This will tell you how how much water is too much when driving through.
- Make sure everything is maintained on a regular basis. Also, keep all of your fluids topped up so you don’t out of anything or overheat.
Make like a boyscout
Make sure that you are well prepared for foul weather. If you ever break down, the bad weather is just going to make things worse. Ensure that you bring supplies along with you such as drinks and snacks, first aid kits and extra clothes just in case – you never know if you will need them, until you need them.
Speaking of being prepared, try not to drive off road alone. Take someone with you. If that isn’t possible, for any reason at all, then make sure you at least stay in constant contact with somebody ‘back at base’.
Someone should know where you have gone, and when you are expected back. Accidents do happen, and if you are one of the unlucky few then it’s important to have someone that can come and help.
Maintain your vehicle. This has already been touched on, but it’s so important that it is worth repeating. Your 4×4 needs to be in good condition. It doesn’t matter if it’s bought from a place like www.saxton4x4.co.uk or anywhere else – just as long as evrything works as it should, and stays that way.
It’s all in the detail
You should always know where you are going and how you plan on getting there. When checking a map, prior to heading out, check the scale. What appears to be a short distance may prove to be much longer.
Off-roading can be a huge amount of fun, and if certain steps taken like the above then it always will be.
Image credit Flickr