For some motorists, driving on the off-beaten path is an adventure worth taking on. Some drivers even have it on their bucket list. But driving on rough roads can be quite risky especially for novice and intermediate drivers.
Are you planning to drive to the countryside? Do you want to take your vehicle to a remote area? Looking to take your SUV like the Honda CRV on an adventure? Here are some safe driving tips you should keep in mind:
#1 Drive Slowly
This is the most important safe driving pointer to keep in mind. Driving slowly on harsh conditions can give you enough time to react and steer away from any problematic area. You can avoid a huge rock that may cause a puncture on your tire or a log that has been left in the grass. By driving slowly, you can spot potholes and avoid damage to your shocks, tires, and suspension.
Driving slowly is also the golden rule when dealing with poor driving conditions, whether it concerns the roads or the weather.
#2 Invest in all-terrain Tires
Often overlooked but an essential contributor to a vehicle’s performance, tires can spell the difference between a safe off-road adventure and a disastrous trip. After all, tires represent the only point of contact of your vehicle with the road. They can impact your control of the car, how quickly you can break, and how smooth the ride is.
That’s why you should invest in tires that are designed for tough road conditions. All-terrain tires are ideal for people like you who enjoy driving in the countryside.
All-terrain tires are designed to survive the harshest roads. These tires have reinforced walls as well as rubber compounds that can resist cuts, punctures, and cuts.
These tires can provide superior traction, too. The treads of all-terrain tires are large and rugged looking. The space between the raised parts is typically wide to increase the surface area and maximize contact with the ground.
All-terrain tires won’t also lose traction whether used in smooth or rough surfaces. In short, they can maintain a good grip on muddy, sandy, wet, and rocky surfaces.
If you are driving a Honda CRV, one of the things to look for in an all-terrain tire is the tread composition. Buy a tire with silica compound as it is durable and should last for many years. The tread design is also important. Choose one with a symmetric pattern since it can deliver a smooth ride and minimize noise and vibration. Moreover, you’d want to have all-terrain tires with rubber coating on the exterior. This would ensure that you can have a safe and comfortable ride.
And before you head to the great outdoors, check the tire pressure. Lower tire pressure is required as it can increase traction when driving through rough roads.
The ideal tire pressure range for deep mud driving is 26 and 28 psi. It should even be lowered to 16 psi when you are to drive through sandy terrain.
#3 Use Low Gear
When driving in off-road areas, you should low gear as much as possible. This not only slows down the car but also gives you enough time to react to a potential threat. Using low gear keeps your speed down and ultimately, could save you from getting into trouble.
For example, you are to drive through a road with large holes or bumps. Speeding on that road would result in
Using low gear is also recommended if you are going uphill or downhill. When the vehicle is in low gear, you have more control over your car’s speed. It also engages engine braking which prevents the car’s brakes from overheating and potentially causing a fatal crash.
If you are driving a manual, put your car in third or second gear when going downhill. If you are using an automatic transmission vehicle, shift to “2”, “3” or ‘L.”
On a related note, you should not be concerned about the high revs of the engine when you are using low gear since this is integral to the engine braking technique.
#4 Safely Tackle Obstacles
There are plenty of hazards and obstacles that you’ll have to deal with when driving in rough roads—from potholes, sharp objects that can puncture your tires, and water crossings.
Before you tackle water crossings, check the depth of the water first. Walk across a stream and check the rocks to determine the depth of the water. If the water is shallower than the hubs of your tires, then you can safely cross. But if it is deeper, you might not want to take the risk of damaging your vehicle’s engine.
You should also be concerned with the flow of the water. If the current is too strong for you to walk across, then it would be wiser not to drive through it.
If you feel that your vehicle would be able to cross the body of the water safely, drive slowly and angle the vehicle slightly upstream. This should help keep the sediments in place while improving the traction of the tires.
#5 Always have Emergency Tools Ready
Let’s face it—no matter how cautious you are on the road, there will always be the risk that your vehicle will get affected by rough road conditions. Your tires may get punctured, or your vehicle may overheat. Therefore, it is ideal to always bring emergency tools that can help you get back on the road again.
Some of the essential emergency tools you should have in your vehicle are tire jack, spare tire, jumper cables, lug wrench, and torchlight. These things should keep you prepared especially when you are not sure of the type of roads you are to drive through.
These are just five tips to keep in mind when you are to drive on rough roads. Rough roads can be challenging even for experienced drivers, so don’t take any chances. Follow these rough road driving tips to keep yourself safe outdoors and consequently, enjoy the great outdoors.