As if traversing rugged terrain and climbing over challenging obstacles in a thousand-pound vehicle wasn’t adrenaline-inducing enough, some daring off-roaders enjoy taking on the trails at night. While off-roading at night can pose enticing challenges for ambitious drivers, it also has several additional safety risks such as low visibility and impaired depth perception. If you’re considering seeing your favorite trails in a whole new light, make sure to check out these tips on how to stay safe while off-roading at night.
Never Go Alone
Perhaps the most important safety tip that everyone should follow when off-roading at night is to bring a buddy. If your vehicle breaks down or you get into an accident, you don’t want to get stranded in the middle of nowhere with nobody to help you. After all, the chances of a good Samaritan driving by and offering you help are a lot lower at night when most people are asleep. As such, you should always bring someone with you in a separate vehicle who can help tow you out of a ditch or go and get help if your off-roading excursion takes a turn for the worse.
Keep Essential Tools On Board
Another crucial tip for staying safe while off-roading at night is to keep your vehicle stocked with essential tools. Just in case you experience any mechanical issues while out on the trail, you’re going to want to keep some basic tools on hand, such as Allen wrenches, pliers, ratchets, and screwdrivers to help you repair the problem.
One of the most important tools to keep in your vehicle while off-roading, however, is a headlamp. Trying to repair an issue with your vehicle with only one hand while the other holds up a flashlight can be challenging. As such, you should always keep a headlamp on board while off-roading at night.
Upgrade Your Vehicle’s Lighting
To safely off-road at night, good visibility is key. One of the biggest challenges of off-roading after dark is the lack of lighting, which can impede peripheral vision and depth perception.
As a result, your potential for getting into an accident is greatly increased. To make sure you have a good view of the trail or obstacle you’re driving over, it’s a good idea to upgrade your vehicle’s factory lighting to a more optimal setup.
Take It Slow
Driving slowly can also reduce your potential for getting into an accident when off-roading at night. As previously stated, visibility is limited when driving in the dark—no matter how powerful your lighting setup is. To make up for your impeded vision and depth perception, it is beneficial to drive a little slower than you usually would to give yourself more time to identify obstacles that may be hidden in the shadows.