Arrive Alive

4x4 Off-Road Driving and Conservation

4x4 Off-Road Driving and ConservationOffroad drivers have quite rightly been maligned and badmouthed in many parts of Africa because of cowboy driving which is environmentally destructive to highly sensitive ecosystems. It is the responsibility of all offroaders to behave in an environmentally sensitive way, or we could see former recreation areas being declared off-limits to us.

 

Deserts

Driving off established tracks destroys ancient life-forms every metre of the way. Always stick to existing tracks. Every time you leave an established track, a new scar is created on the landscape, and the chances are good that someone travelling after you will follow your tracks thinking it is an established route. When forced to traverse a section of desert where there are no tracks, try to drive in dry river beds. Here, vehicle tracks will be washed away in the next flash flood.

 

Beach Driving

Beach driving should be avoided unless you have no other option. Lower your tire pressures to avoid compacting sensitive areas (and to give better flotation) Try to stick as closely as possible to the wet sand area below the high tide mark where, because of wave action, the sand is tough and resilient. If this is not possible, drive as close to the high tide mark as possible.

Never ever drive on beach dunes. They are perhaps the most dynamic and vulnerable part of beach ecology; constantly changing building blocks which hold the beach together. The backshore section, mud flats and salt marshes are all environmentally fragile and must be avoided.

 

Track Damage

One vehicle bogged on a bush track can destroy a road in just a few days as heavy rains gouge the initial hole into an erosion donga. When you bog down - in dry or wet weather - repair the hole afterwards. Divert any streams running through the danger area and mark the hole to warn other drivers. If you use firewood or branches to improve traction, remove them afterwards. They can cause terrible damage to the brake and fuel lines and electrical wiring of other vehicles.

 

Bull Bars and Winching

Bull bars are there to protect your vehicle, not to bash your way through the bush for the fun of it. Doing so destroys vegetation. When winching off a tree, use a commercially available tree saver, a collar of thick rubber or a wadded up sack to protect the bark. Winch cables cut into the bark of a tree, ring barking it, and virtually guaranteeing it will die.

 

Information from:
Andre Botha
Approved Member of African Off-Road Academy 
www.just4x4adventures.co.za 
andre@just4x4adventures.co.za

Also View:

Loading...

Search Road Safety Articles

Latest Pages

Partnership Opportunities

Partnership Opportunities

Herewith some extra info on the Arrive Alive initiative and how the Partnering works: Also, view the Infographic for 2019 The website and our road safety blogs are not funded by the Department of Transport but made possible through partnerships with the private sector. The website received

Read More

Truck Hijackings, Crime and Road Safety

Truck Hijackings, Crime and Road Safety

Introduction: Truck Hijackings: Investigation and Analysis In recent years we have become aware of an increase in road-related crimes. Not only have we reported on the hijackings, car theft and incidents of smash-and-grab, but have also seen the much more organized crime of truck hijacking [truck

Read More

Road Safety and the Child Pedestrian

Road Safety and the Child Pedestrian

Introduction During recent years the road fatalities among pedestrians in South Africa have remained at 35-40% of the total road fatalities. Many socioeconomic factors are contributing to the horrific fatality rate among our pedestrians. To change where we live and whether we have adult supervision

Read More

Preventing Crashes into Pedestrians

Preventing Crashes into Pedestrians

Many road fatalities are caused by accidents wherein pedestrians are involved. Many of these fatalities may be prevented through the application of some basic principles. The following safety hints should be applied: Be aware that many informal settlements are situated alongside main roads and

Read More

Scholar Patrol and Road Safety

Scholar Patrol and Road Safety

Background Info to Scholar Patrol / School Patrol Scholar Patrol is an important part of road safety education and essential to enhancing the safety of our scholars at their schools. Not only does it regulate traffic, improve speed calming and facilitate safe crossing of the road but also instills

Read More

Safety of Pedestrians

Safety of Pedestrians

Walking in Traffic The safety of pedestrians is one of the major concerns for the transport and traffic authorities in South Africa. There are at present several initiatives to enhance pedestrian safety. Unfortunately the past development of roads, informal settlements and general levels of intoxication

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All