Off Road Driving

You may have bought your SUV for the size and the look, but it seems almost criminal to restrict its use to city streets.  Keeping that power on motorways and main roads is a waste of a beautiful vehicle.  Why not give your beloved Land Rover a chance to stretch its wheels?

Driving off road, however, is a very different experience to driving in the suburbs.  Not only will you get mud all over those personalized number plates, you’ll find that the vehicle handles differently too.  For your safety, and the safety of your passengers, it makes sense to learn how to handle rough conditions.

Know Your Limits

The first thing you need to do is learn your limits, and the limits of your vehicle.  Don’t rush off to the most twisty, steep and muddy roads you can find and see how fast you can take that u-turn close to the edge of the cliff.  That’s a way to get yourself killed.

Make sure your vehicle is properly serviced, and start your adventure slowly.  Find a simple, beginner’s trail, and get a feel for how your vehicle handles there.

Watch Your Wheels

Do you remember that scene in Cars where Lightning was told “If you’re going hard enough left, you’ll find yourself turning right” – that advice sounds pretty silly, but there’s truth to it.  If you start whipping your steering wheel around to correct a spin, you’re probably going to get yourself into even more trouble.  That’s why people are told to steer in small increments, and turn into a skid instead of fighting to correct it.

Take a Friend

If you’re going for an off-road drive, take a friend with you, ideally in a separate vehicle.  Take radios with you so you can stay in touch if you get lost, and take a good mobile phone with you too, so that you can call for help if needed.  If this is your first trip, try to find someone more experienced to travel with.

Pack Safety Gear

Even if you’re only going for a short ride, you should pack some basic safety gear.  Make sure your tank is full of petrol, and check your tyres and fluid levels before you go.  Pack a GPS, a map, some blankets, a first aid kit (fresh, replace things as soon as you use them), a fully charged phone + car charger, and some bottles of drinking water.  You may never need that stuff, but it’s better to be over-prepared.

Treat the areas you ride in with respect, and if you get out to have a picnic, be sure to tidy up after yourself before you leave.  When you get back, wash your car and check the body for damage.  While you’re polishing your private number plates you can inspect under the car, check the tires, and generally make sure your vehicle is safe ready for the next ride.

Take a Course

Reading tips online is a good first step, but if you want to truly enjoy the world of off-road driving, and try some tougher routes, then you should take a formal training course.  Only a qualified instructor can really assess your driving ability and help you stay safe off-road.

This article was written by James Harper on behalf of The Plate Market, cheap private number plate specialists with cherished number plates for sale. Visit their website to see their range of cheap private number plates and cherished number plates for sale.

Photo: Bryn Pinzgauer

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