Tips For New Drivers

Side-by-sides are powerful vehicles that can withstand severe weather and road conditions. Also known as Utility Terrain Vehicles, owning a side-by-side makes it easy for you to traverse dunes, rocky mountains, steep terrains, and even snow-covered roads. You can also make the most of your side-by-side by competing in races worldwide.

A side-by-side is a great investment as it has features that aren’t available in typical SUVs and sedans. However, for you to enjoy this vehicle and maximize your investment, you need to follow safety tips when you’re driving it. You don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on a vehicle that will only cause injuries and accidents, right?

For new side-by-side drivers, make sure to follow these safety tips:

1. Always Wear The Proper Safety Gear

Driving SUVs and sedans will not require you to follow a strict dress code. In fact, you can wear anything that you find comfortable when driving these vehicles. However, the same doesn’t apply when driving with side-by-sides as driving it will require you to wear proper safety gear approved by the Department of Transportation.

Generally, all side-by-side drivers must wear over-the-ankle boots, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt. Make sure to check the manual of your vehicle as this material specifies the necessary safety gear you should wear when driving it.

When driving your side-by-side in off-road situations and races, wearing a durable and high-quality helmet is always a must. Side-by-sides are huge vehicles, and using it to drive through uneven terrains can cause it to jostle and bump your head. Wearing a helmet can protect your head from too much pressure and, most importantly, from suffering injuries.

2. The Public Roads Aren’t For Your Side-By-Side

A lot of people invest in a side-by-side because they want to use it as a status symbol. Not everyone can afford to buy one, so for those who have the resources to buy a side-by-side, they want their achievement to be known. You can achieve this goal when you have a side-by-side, but you can’t do it by driving the vehicle on major roads.

The structure and engine of a side-by-side aren’t built for paved and smooth roads. For one, the vehicle’s low-pressure tire is actually designed to withstand the most brutal road conditions.

Continually using your side-by-side in major highways can affect the handling of the vehicle and decrease the grip of its tires. As a result, your side-by-side will become less powerful and more difficult to maneuver the moment you use it off-road. Driving this kind of vehicle can adversely affect your safety and even put your life at risk.

If you truly want to enjoy your side-by-side and look after your safety at the same time, always use your vehicle for off-roading. Besides, it’s more fun and challenging to drive there, anyways. 

3. Do Not Drink And Drive

One of the most basic safety rules every driver should know is to only stay behind the wheel when they are sober. Your side-by-side can take you from one destination to another, but if you’re drunk, you should never attempt to use it. Being under the influence of alcohol can impair your judgment, reaction time, and ability to focus, which can lead to accidents and legal repercussions.

Regardless of the distance between your current location and destination, you should never attempt to drive your side-by-side after drinking. Have a friend take you home or use public transportation instead. These might be inconvenient, especially if you’re used to driving your own vehicle, but if it will guarantee your safety, you should definitely consider either of these options.

4. Make Sure That Your Arms And Legs Are Inside The Vehicle

Driving your side-by-side for the first time can be very exciting to the point where you can no longer control yourself and act inappropriately when you’re in your vehicle. You might defend your actions and think that you’re only enjoying yourself.

However, just like any rides in amusement parks, it’s always best if you keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle when you’re driving your side-by-side. This can increase your safety as your arms and legs won’t break the fall the moment your vehicle starts to tip.

Instead of attempting to use your arms and legs to support yourself during accidents, it’s best if you let the roll cage of your side-by-side handle the job for you. This feature is installed in your side-by-side to protect you and your passenger, so make sure that you allow this feature to do its job.

Make Your Safety A Priority

Side-by-sides might look tougher and more powerful than common vehicles, but contrary to popular belief, these are still very easy to maneuver. As long as you know how to drive a vehicle, you won’t find any problem familiarizing the controls of a side-by-side.

But you shouldn’t only focus on your ability to drive your side-by-side smoothly – you should also pay extra attention to your safety when you’re in the vehicle. Regardless if you bought the side-by-side to join races or travel to different locations, your safety should always be a priority.