Taking trips along some of the world’s most perilous roads are a great way to get away from the daily noise and tedium, and live life on the fast lane for a couple of days. Despite this exquisite thrill, however, it’s all too easy for things to go wrong.
An estimated 1.35 million people lose their lives each year due to road crashes and accidents, according to the Association For Safe International Road Travel. Purposefully seeking out treacherous trails seems like you’re just asking for trouble. But even if your excitement-seeking takes you down roads hardly travelled, there are still ways to keep a comfortable margin of safety out there.
Plan out your stops
The risky roads are the main event in any off-trail trip, but any seasoned road tripper would know that planning the trip’s stops is vital. You could get stalled out in inhospitable terrain without a phone signal, or find yourself short on supplies with no stores around for miles. To keep any of these difficult scenarios from happening, you’d want to keep yourself within reasonable walking distance of vital goods and services. Not to mention, planning out your destinations also gives you more incentive to travel along those precarious paths. Death Valley, for example, is one of the most dangerous patches of desert and badland in the world, but what waits for you at the end is Death Valley National Park, over 5000 square miles of tamed wilderness with creature comforts and amenities. Modoc mine and Charcoal Kilns in Wildrose Canyon are a few of the interesting sites to visit in this valley.
Do some intensive vehicle prep
This may be obvious to some, but it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to ensure that your vehicle is in top condition. You can diagnose your vehicle’s needs on your own, but you’re best advised to hire a professional service to give it a checkup and patch up anything out of order. Booking a service appointment will help you make sure that everything, including your oil, fluids, tires, lights, blinkers and air filters are all in perfect working order before you set off. Besides an in-depth tune-up, you’d also want to come equipped for any mishaps on the road. Things like a basic first aid kit, jumper cables, a flashlight, reflective triangles, the best tire repair kit you can get your hands on, and extra water should be mainstays in your vehicle. It would also be prudent to have up to date copies of relevant paperwork on hand, such as your registration documents and insurance cards. These will come in useful in case you’d need to present them in the event of an accident.
Set yourself up to get as much enjoyment out of the trip as possible
When you’re driving out on an off-trail route, especially if you’re new at this, it’s important to not get overwhelmed. Although you have to be cautious, taking it easy and enjoying the experience will enable you to relax. And a relaxed driver is a safe driver. It’s also recommended to bring along a travel companion to help you out and keep you company. There are other ways to spice up your off-roading experience, but the key takeaway here is to approach the activity lightheartedly.
Although risky, off-roading is a fun activity when you plan thoroughly enough. The thrill comes from the danger, but any smart driver would know that setting up buffers against the worst of these dangers is essential due diligence.