Car safety for off-road driving

There are few more exhilarating experiences than off-road driving. Roving the countryside in a tough, capable vehicle can help you to see it in an entirely different light, and creates a better understanding with, and connection to, your car. But if you're not adequately prepared, or aren't driving the right kind of car, an off-road adventure can quickly turn into a nightmare.

We've listed a few things to consider, if you're preparing to go off-road:

  • Ensure that your car is capable. Off-roading in an ill-equipped vehicle is likely to end in disaster. Choose a powerful model with a 4x4 drivetrain; examples at Lookers include the Hyundai Santa Fe SUV, the Ford Ranger pick-up, and the legendary Land Rover range. You should also build a good understanding of your car before going off-road. Ensure that you understand how the 4x4 system works, how the vehicle drives, and its dimensions (to avoid getting stuck).
  • Let someone know where you're going. You should always try to travel with at least one passenger, or preferably another vehicle. If you have to travel alone, ensure that friends and family know where you are going, and arrange a set contact time. If you get stuck with no signal and can't contact them, they'll realise that you need help.
  • Check for any problems. Faults with your car will quickly become apparent on rough terrain. Check that tyres are inflated, there are no leaks or mechanical problems, and that the jack and spare tyre are easily accessible.
  • Load carefully. Try to distribute loads evenly within your vehicle, to ensure balance and stability. Tie down heavy loads to prevent them from sliding on hills or bumps, and if you use a roof rack then account for the extra height.
  • If you get stuck, call for help. If your vehicle is in a precarious position, never try to move it by hand, as this could cause injury to you and damage to the car. You should never try to climb on top of your vehicle – if you've got a problem, get help.

As well as the aforementioned vehicles, your nearest Lookers dealership is likely to stock other capable off-road vehicles. For more car advice, or to book a test drive in one of our cars, please contact our friendly team today