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4x4 Safety Tips

If you are not an experienced 4x4 driver, Drive South Africa recommends taking a course in 4x4 and off road driving, these are available at our suppliers, our travel consultants can advise you on courses and their duration. It is adviseable to complete a 4WD course in the vehicle you plan to use on safari.
 
  • When loading your 4x4 vehicle remember to try pack as much weight as possible into the vehicle and not on the roof. One of the leading causes of accidents and vehicles overturning is overweighting and poor weight distribution. Top-heavy vehicles are far more likely to roll, and are not easy to control if you need to suddenly swerve you vehicle. Your heaviest baggage and equipment should sit low in the vehicle, with as little weight as possible on your roof.
  • Speed compounds problems, any eventuality you encounter on the road becomes easier to deal with the slower you are travelling. You have more time to react and your momentum is easier to manage.
  • Dirt and gravel roads in Botswana, Namibia and South Africa can have sloping shoulders, swerving onto these uneven planes increase the possibility of overturning your vehicle. In the event of wildlife blocking your path it is often safer to maintain your course than to swerve onto a slopping shoulder. Again, low speeds can prevent this becoming a decision you have to make.
  • Be aware of your vehicles fuel capacity, fuel consumption and the distance between fuel stops. Terrain, speed, tire pressure and load all influence your consumption. Carry spare fuel to be safe.
  • If using four-wheel drive vehicles, engage the 4x4 when appropriate (e.g. driving off road in Africa.)
 
Source: http://www.drivesouthafrica.co.za/

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