Tips for Driving Safely on the Beach
With summer upon us, more and more people are preparing for their vacations, and some have plans to take a beach excursion. For those who plan on driving on the beach, there are some things to keep in mind to help do it safely and without getting stuck. Hard-packed sand is very easy to drive on, regardless of what vehicle is used since the moisture in the sand helps keep the surface firm. However, beaches that have dry, fluffy sand are much more difficult to navigate. Here are some tips that can help you.
Let the Air Out
First, regardless of what kind of vehicle you are driving, it is important to let air out of the tires. Dropping the tire pressure to between 12 and 15 psi should work well – doing this helps increase the tire’s surface area, which makes it float along the sand’s surface instead of sinking into it. Additionally, it is very important to make sure to re-inflate the tires as soon as you get off the beach – even driving a few miles on under inflated tires can cause the tire to rip right from its rim.
It is important to avoid making sharp turns when driving on a sandy beach – turning the wheel and the tires on the sand takes a lot more effort than what is needed to go straight. If you attempt to make a turn and end up getting stuck, straighten out the wheels until the car is able to go again and then attempt the turn again. Sometimes, making a turn requires many tries and may even require you to back up, fill in the trenches left by the vehicle and attempt to make the turn again.
If You Lose Traction
Should you lose traction and motion on the beach, do not continue to press the gas until the wheels have dug a hole halfway to China. If you get stuck, carefully back the car out of the space and use branches, a car mat, or even a piece of chain link fence to help get moving again. Also, you can use water to wet down the area in order to make it easier to drive over. For those who have vehicles with front wheel drive, it is likely best to keep that car at home since losing traction is something that happens often.
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