Some safety tips for A rocky, muddy, and unevenly paved road would be a nightmare for most people, but some people prefer bumpier, thrilling rides. No road is the greatest of all for a group of adventurers known as off-roaders.
Driving on unpaved terrain is known as off-roading. Nearly anything other than standard smooth pavement can serve as surfaces for such driving as mountainsides, beaches, dunes, and even deteriorated roadways. Off-roading can be challenging and dangerous if you are unprepared. According to Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):
- Yearly, 135,000 individuals sustain injuries in ATV (all-terrain vehicle) accidents
- Approximately 700 people die from ATV accidents every year
- Almost 23% of the people killed in ATV accidents are less than sixteen years old
- Fractures, abrasions and contusions are the most frequently diagnosed injuries.
The type of vehicle, off road parts, and accessories strongly influence the type of off-roading you do. Here are some safety tips for all off-roading drivers.
1. Understand the Importance of Tire Pressure
The weight, load, design, and width of your wheels will significantly impact your grip on the terrain. Reduce the tire pressures for real off-roading; in deep mud, an overinflated tire will not provide as much traction as a slightly under-inflated one.
2. Examine Your Vehicle Before Leaving
Off-roading can be dangerous, so you should stay prepared before you leave. Examine your vehicle for internal and external faults before every trip. After getting to your trails, check your tires to ensure they are inflated to the required level. If you feel inclined, reduce the pressure while crawling or on a trail.
Ensure your quick and sway bar disconnects are locked and connected if you must drive to your destination. You can disconnect these once you arrive at your off-roading location, depending on the conditions. Just be sure to reconnect before resuming your highway speed drive. Check that both your headlights and your taillights are operational.
3. Safety Tips to Prepare for Emergencies
Make sure you carry a first-aid kit with you that contains things you require to stop blood loss, treat minor injuries, and hold you over until assistance arrives. Keep a glass-break cutter and seatbelt breaker with you, as well, as there might be situations where you need to make an emergency exit. Always pack enough food for the maximum number of passengers in your car, even when traveling alone, and never drink and drive. You should also carry a GPS navigator with you to prevent being lost. Bring a car adaptor for the GPS gadget and extra batteries in a zip-lock bag.
4. Inform Someone About Your Whereabouts
Before embarking on an off-road trip, inform a couple of individuals of your intended route (including the name and the location of the road or trail), departure time, and anticipated return time. It’s a good idea to have a contact outside who is aware of where you are and when you’re expected to return because your cell phone might not work on these old, abandoned routes. Doing this will prevent you from becoming trapped for an extended period in the case of an accident or mechanical failure.
Knowing what you are getting yourself into and being prepared for any situation is essential. Learn about the vehicle you are driving and the place you are entering. You will be ready to deal with the unpredicted if you are familiar with your vehicle’s manual. Above all, never, ever travel alone. Stay adaptable and prepared to deal with unexpected weather, some unplanned camping, and whatnot.