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

Vehicle Suspension and Safety on the Road

Vehicle Suspension and Safety on the Road

Introduction Driving skills like parking, cornering, and overtaking rely heavily on one’s ability to steer in a fluid but precise manner. Many fatal rollover crashes and head-on collisions are directly related to our failure to steer our vehicles safely. We find on the Arrive Alive website

Read More

Vehicle Modifications, Alterations and Road Safety

Vehicle Modifications, Alterations and Road Safety

Manufacturers deliver vehicles which cater for the average driver and have settings that will provide the best (erring on the conservative) in terms of longevity, economy, ride comfort, performance. That satisfies most drivers but some, quite possibly because they can’t find/afford a “performance”

Read More

Shock Absorbers and Safe Driving

Shock Absorbers and Safe Driving

Shock Absorbers and Road Safety What is a shock absorber? To most people a shock absorber is an unseen component somewhere near the wheel and suspension which never needs to be checked or looked at as it always works and does not wear out or need replacing, and perhaps like tonsils in a human do

Read More

Shock Absorbers and Safety on the Road

Shock Absorbers and Safety on the Road

The Relationship between Shock Absorbers & Tyre Safety In the many articles regarding tyres and their impact on road safety, it is repeatedly mentioned that tyres are the only physical contact between a vehicle and the road surface. It is this contact, and the grip the tyre provides which allows

Read More

Road Safety and Steering Safely

Road Safety and Steering Safely

Introduction and Importance of Safe Steering In discussions about road safety, not much emphasis is placed on the safe steering of a vehicle. As this is often regarded as a “common sense” activity we seldom pay enough attention to the skills required to perform this safely! Steering

Read More

Quad Bikes and Children

Quad Bikes and Children

Background Information. Much is being done to protect the younger generation from the dangers of underage driving – yet children are allowed to drive on all-terrain vehicles [ATV’s] / quad bikes without supervision and formal training. In recent research in the US the rate of injury

Read More

Load More Pages

Partners

View All