Trail Rollover Safety
There are risks to tackling 4WD trails beyond just breaking parts. The biggest risk, of course, is that of personal injury in the event of a rollover. Although being in a vehicle during a rollover can be frightening, it doesn't have to result in injury. By taking a number of steps before hitting the trail and during the actual rollover situation you can greatly increase your chances of emerging unscathed with a vehicle capable of continuing up the trail.
Before-The-Trail Check List
Tie It Down
Quite often, people are injured by loose gear flying about the cab during a rollover. Tying down your gear could save you a head injury and will also keep gear well contained so you'll have less to clean up should your vehicle flop over. This includes checking under the hood to make sure all items are secure.
Most of you know that it's important to wear seatbelts at all times, but when's the last time you looked at the condition of your seatbelt attachment points? Rusted floorboards or loose seatbelt bolts can result in ineffective seatbelts. Harness-type quick-release belts should be considered if you tackle hardcore trails.
Adjust the tire air pressure to suit the terrain. Lower psi will create a wider contact patch and make sidewalls more flexible so they conform to obstacles.
Always keep your hands, feet, and head inside the vehicle. Pretty easy advice, but where do you put your hands during a rollover? The driver should typically hold on to the steering wheel. The idea is to stabilize yourself within the vehicle so you don't rag-doll around as your 4x4 tumbles. Every 4x4 should have enough grab handles within easy reach of the passenger as well. You should also never grab ahold of the rollbar itself since fingers can be easily crushed by the terrain below. If your 4x4 doesn't have permanent grab handles in place, a set of strap-on handles can be added to any rollbar. Rollbar padding should also be used in areas around the bar where driver and passenger heads might make contact.
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