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Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Secrets of Driving Off-Road With Your SUV or 4x4

Driving off-road can be an amazing and exhilarating experience. Before taking your SUV or 4x4 down the first roadside trail you see, there are a few tips and secrets that should be known to ensure an enjoyable and safe time.

Plan for Anything

Regardless of the amount of time that you expect to spend on the trail, you should always prepare for any emergency and any situation. Before heading out, a somewhat detailed plan of your excursion should be given to a close friend or family member. This would include the location where you will be going and an approximate return time.

Going off-road should be done with at least one other person. This is especially true when traveling in remote areas. Having a second person is essential when it comes to spotting driving hazards and assisting in getting a vehicle unstuck or repaired.

A basic first aid kit and emergency supplies will come in handy in the event of disaster. If you are miles away from the nearest road, your mobile phone does not work and your 4x4 or SUV is broken down, you will be thankful that you prepared and brought such a kit.

Know Your Vehicle

An SUV is able to perform well under a number of different conditions as well as a 4x4. To be able to take full advantage of the vehicle's abilities and do this safely, the driver needs to be familiar with all of the safety features, controls and especially the size and important angles.

Every vehicle is different, and will certainly have different approach angles and ground clearance. Knowing all of this information will help to keep the vehicle safe while on the trail.

Positioning, Line and Speed

While driving, the line of the vehicle or the direction that it is taking has a direct effect on how easy or how difficult the ride will be. Keeping the front tires pointing in the right direction and avoiding any quick or sudden movements is always best.

Going off-road is something that is not done at high speeds. On a trail, there may be other SUVs, motorcycles or ATVs. Driving should be done so that you can always see the trail ahead of you. Slowing down around a curve or at a hill is ideal. While driving at night, you should never drive ahead of the headlights. Driving quickly can also do significant damage to the vehicle and passengers. You may not be able to react quickly enough to an obstacle at higher speeds.

Getting Unstuck

Becoming stuck is an inevitable occurrence when you are off-road. The key is to take your time and carefully remove your vehicle properly. Accelerating quickly will most likely get you stuck deeper. Slow movements are best. If needing to attach a tow strap, do this at the lowest possible connection point on the vehicle. Having that additional person is very helpful in this situation.

Going off-road can be a lot of fun, but it can also be a dangerous adventure for the person who is not adequately prepared. Simple things such as an emergency kit, some friends, basic research, knowledge and common sense will all help to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable time.

As all usual car lovers, Hugh McInnes is amazed by driving 4x4 cars or SUVs. Hugh has recently bought a awesome SUV which provides him lots of experiences off-road that he loves to share with his friends.

View the original article here