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

Bullbars 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

The U-Turn as a Threat to Road Safety

The U-Turn as a Threat to Road Safety

Introduction The U-Turn remains one of the most dangerous driver manoeuvres on roads worldwide. Paramedics respond daily to severe trauma from crashes that could have been prevented had it not been for the hasty decision to make a U-turn in traffic. We all know U-turns are illegal most of the time

Read More

Insurance Brokers, Clients, and Claim Repudiation

Insurance Brokers, Clients, and Claim Repudiation

Insurance Brokers are more than specialists at reducing the cost of insurance. Any Broker worth their salt would develop a long-standing relationship with their clients, advise them towards a product that benefits them in the short- and long-term, and stand by them when a claim must be processed. When

Read More

Safety With Gas

Safety With Gas

Instruction With the term “load shedding” becoming a reality for many South Africans there has been an increased focus on gas as a fuel in heating appliances, cooking equipment etc. The term “LPG” is Liquefied petroleum gas or liquid petroleum gas (LPG or LP gas), also referred

Read More

Safety, Prevention and Treatment of Burns

Safety, Prevention and Treatment of Burns

Burns in South Africa: Who is at risk? There is a high incidence of burn injuries in South Africa. The root causes of this need to be addressed, but simply being aware of the risks is enough to increase vigilance and prevention. Burns are extremely painful, often life-threatening injuries that

Read More

Car Keys, Lost Keys and Vehicle Security

Car Keys, Lost Keys and Vehicle Security

Don't you just love the feeling when you receive the keys to your new car? But what is it that you love about it? It's not the actual keys unless you're driving a very premium brand, right? It's the freedom, the joy, the power, the excitement, the smell, and the beauty associated with

Read More

How To Become a Traffic Trainee

How To Become a Traffic Trainee

Traffic enforcement is one of the most important requirements to enhance road safety. For this, it is also important to have many dedicated and well-trained traffic officers. But how do I become a traffic trainee? The RTMC has sent an e-mail to all provincial head offices of traffic and to the

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All