- Off-roading is a term used to describe driving a vehicle through rough or watery terrain and trails for fun and sport. White sandy beaches, sand dunes, vast dry deserts and rocky mountain hills are popular places to go off-roading. Off-roading is even becoming a popular sport, with competitions throughout the country.
Types of Vehicles
- Many vehicles are used to go off-roading, such as ATV's, dirtbikes, Jeeps, snowmobiles, trucks and 4x4s. Off-road vehicles are built sturdier than your average car or truck. All-wheel drive and clear ground clearance is a must for safe off-roading. ATVs, which stands for all-terrain vehicles, are very popular, as are 4x4 Hummers.
- Although there is no special driver's license required to go off-roading, safety is of utmost importance. Stay off dangerous slopes and out of deep water and marshes. It is illegal to off-road in rivers and lakes. Always travel at safe speeds appropriate for the terrain to allow for reaction time in case of moving rocks or logs. Be on the lookout ahead of you at all times and proceed slowly around corners and unfamiliar terrain. Avoid diagonal driving going down hills or steep terrain so the vehicle does not rollover. The only exception to diagonal driving is crossing over ditches or logs. In this case, cross one wheel at a time so the other three wheels balance the vehicle. Always wear a helmet.
Places to Go Off-Roading
- There are many places to go off-roading. In the west, the Mojave Desert and the Rocky Mountains offer vast terrains and scenic routes. 93 percent of the 262 million acres of public land use in the United States is open to off-roading. The California Wilderness Coalition says that the environment has suffered from off-roading, claiming it disturbs wildlife, vegetation and contributes to air, land and water pollution. Many activists and environmentalists are lobbying for stricter laws and regulations concerning off-roading to protect the environment.