Off-roading is a popular outdoor activity that's both fun and exciting. Plus, off-road vehicles can even be driven by adventurous teens. Nevertheless, manning an off-road vehicle is not without risks. If you're going to a cabin in the woods, heading to a secluded pond or lake, or just driving for fun, it's important to properly prepare for such an adventure since there are real dangers to off-roading.
Common Off-road Vehicles
There are various kinds of off-road vehicles, including ATVs (all-terrain vehicles), UTVs (utility task vehicles) and dune buggies, as well as two-wheel machines, such as dirt bikes. Some people also prefer off-road capable trucks, like the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, the Toyota 4Runner Trail, and other rough-road-ready machines that are great for off-roading. Before an adventure, a thorough inspection is recommended. Ask an expert to check your vehicle because you have to ensure that this will be able to get through uneven roads without any trouble. After your trip, make sure to do another thorough scan as off-roading can do a lot of damage to any mode of transportation.
When planning on off-road adventure, there are certain things that you need to take into consideration. Below are some tips that will hopefully improve your safety and enhance your off-roading experience.
1. Have a buddy. It's always better to have a buddy with you, or invite another off-roading driver who'll steer the rough roads with you. There are several benefits to having a buddy - he can keep you motivated; he'll be an extra pair of helpful hands; and he'll be able to help you out in case of an emergency.
2. Stay on well-beaten paths. Yes, people are often encouraged to carve their own paths. But this does not apply to off-roading. Your adventurous spirit might tempt you to create your own trail, but this isn't safe. If you're off the map and you get lost, it will be much harder for people to find you. Venturing into unknown paths can also damage your vehicle and destroy certain species of protected flora and fauna.
3. Adhere to the stated speed limit. Just because you're off public roads doesn't mean that you should just throw caution to the wind and speed away. Keep in mind that your passenger's safety is in your hands. Moreover, there are probably other off-road drivers out there with you, and the likelihood of an accident increases if you over-speed. Avoid trying out new road tricks too, especially if you're not an expert at them.
4. Protect yourself. Off-road protection refers to a number of things. For one, it pertains to physical protection, including using the right safety gear and bringing functional equipment. Protection also means having insurance for off-road driving. Having the right coverage can protect you financially, particularly in case of a collision wherein physical or property damage may occur. According to Accredited Insurance, there are several options available, but you can get lower premiums if you satisfy certain factors, such as - no violations/no record; owns more than one vehicle; owns a vehicle with well-known safety features.
5. Make use of modern gadgets. Bring a GPS device with you or activate your smartphone's GPS system. If you get lost, you'll be able to easily find your way home using this device. You might also need radios and cameras, and, if you're going camping, pack up tents, portable cooking stove, and flashlights, among others.
About the Author: Claire Winters is a freelance writer and a mother who often blogs about auto accidents and insurance. She hopes to increase awareness regarding vehicular safety.