3 Dangerous Off-Roading Situations To Avoid

3 Dangerous Off-Roading Situations To Avoid

As summer quickly approaches, you should prepare your trusty 4×4 for overlanding adventures! However, driving a car over trails and challenging terrains does require safe driving habits and knowledge of common hazards. Here are three dangerous off-roading situations to avoid to ensure an enjoyable and safe experience.

Stranded Without Help

One of the most dangerous situations for every off-roader is getting stranded in a remote location without any help. Getting stranded often occurs due to one of two occurrences—an empty fuel tank or “sticky” terrain. It’s essential that you never venture into remote locations without a near-full tank of gas and an emergency gallon of reserve fuel in the trunk. Furthermore, check your fuel monitor often and always drive home when the level reaches close to empty. “Sticky” terrain is basically any driving surface that is too challenging for your tires, leading to hydroplaning in one place. Thankfully, recovery kits with traction-improvement devices can help push your 4×4 out of these sticky situations. Finally, always carry satellite communication equipment when traveling to highly remote areas so that you can easily call for help when you get stranded.

Flipped-Over 4×4

Flipping while off-roading is much more common than you might think. Many overlanding vehicles feature a high center of gravity, extra weight, and a similar width to smaller types of automobiles like sedans. As such, off-roaders require far less provocation and force to flip on their sides compared to other vehicles. The best way to avoid a nasty flip, potential vehicle damages, and passenger injuries is to never push your automobile to the limit while on the trail. Always ease into the intensity of the activity to ensure a better feel for your ride and the terrain. Additionally, keep a recovery kit in your trunk in case you flip into a ditch. Thankfully, newer 4x4s and off-roaders feature good designs that reduce the chance of flipping. For example, you can safely off-road in a Jeep Gladiator. It’s sturdy and perfect for taking the whole family on an outdoor excursion.

Hydrolocked Engine

Some off-roading adventures feature crossable bodies of water along the trail. While most 4x4s can handle a shallow water crossing, there’s always the possibility that you accidentally traverse a deep section and hydrolock your engine. Hydrolocking occurs when your engine pulls in excess water through the air intake. Once the water reaches the engine’s pistons, they lock up and cease functioning properly. Since major hydrolocking is a significant complication that often ends in totaling your engine, it’s essential that you always test the depth of water before crossing. Additionally, consider modifying your 4×4 with an engine snorkel for superior hydrolocking protection.

Avoid these three dangerous off-roading situations by packing the right equipment and practicing safer driving habits. Ultimately, these tips will ensure a more successful and enjoyable off-roading experience for you, your passengers, and other motorists on the trail.

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Shea Rumoro