There are moments when it is inevitable to drive on surfaces other than a freeway or paved road. Driving and cruising smoothly is a pleasant experience. However, if the journey gets rough, or if the vehicle is stuck in a ditch, or immobilized on surfaces such as mud, water, dirt or snow, the feeling is frustrating. And when you find yourself in areas where getting assistance is restricted, this will escalate the helplessness.
The following are some tips to prevent yourself from being stuck on various surfaces.
Look out for the Road Path Ahead
When you are unsure of the road ahead, you can choose to walk out from your vehicle and check out for potential hazards that you can avoid. However, ensure the surrounding environment is safe for you to get out from the vehicle to do the inspection.
Release Some Air for the Tires
If you foresee that you will be driving on sand, dirt, mud, or snow, deflate the tires slightly to reduce the amount of air pressure on tires. In this way, they can contact more with the surface; this can result in better traction. Do take note if you deflate your tires slightly, your vehicle will be lower to the ground level. Thus the clearance is lowered. Therefore, drive safe and slow; keep a watch out for potholes. Once you return to the road surface, inflate the tires to normal in order to prevent damaging them.
Do Not Brake Suddenly
When you are driving in mud, dirt, sand or snow, try not to brake suddenly or too hard unless it is necessary. If you do so, a rut or slight hole will be dug in the ground, and this will trap your vehicle. To stop the vehicle, you can choose to slow it down gradually and eventually come to a stop. When driving in sand dunes, do not drive angularly; simply drive in straight line.
Drive in a Straight Line
One good way to prevent getting stuck or trapped is to drive in a straight line. Ensure the tires are pointing in a straight line ahead; turning the tires will add more stress on them and make it harder to maneuver.
Watch Out for Ruts
Prevent driving in holes or ruts whenever possible when traveling in dirt and mud. The car tires will naturally move in the direction of the depression in the ground. This can potentially get your car trapped. Take note of the direction the wheels of your car are pointing when driving. When you enter such areas, re-establish the traction steadily while the wheels are pointing in the direction of the depression in the ground.
Drive Slow to Maintain Momentum
Try to drive at a slow but steady rate. You can achieve it by changing to higher gears. However when the wheels start to spin, throttle back slightly and it can help to establish the right traction again.
Calling for Assistance
If you really find yourself being stuck and unable to move, you need to call for a towing or roadside assistance company. Every vehicle recovery situation is different; from location, vehicle type to weather conditions, the tow truck company has to take them into consideration. The towing companies will prepare equipment and tools necessary for the extraction.
Search for tow truck companies that have good reviews and ensure they are reliable. Don’t hesitate to ask questions; skilled and experienced companies will do their best to calm you and help you feel confident that they can handle the situation.