Side-By-Side Driving Mistakes To Avoid

Whether an expert or a rookie with driving a side-by-side, mistakes can sometimes be inevitable. In some cases, this can be a result of improper training or practice. For others, it can also simply be due to oversight. Driving a side-by-side, also known as a UTV, can often give you an exciting adventure. There’s something about the freedom and thrill of going on trails that make the whole experience worthwhile. While you’re at it, it’s imperative also to stay safe by learning Side-By-Side driving mistakes to avoid

Side by side utility tactical vehicle 1024x682 - Side-By-Side Driving Mistakes To Avoid
Image by Military_Material from Pixabay
Military Side-By-Side Utility-Tactical-Vehicle

Both small and big mistakes when driving may lead to severe consequences. This is something that you’d want to avoid at all costs. Before you’re headed out on your next side-by-side adventure, read through this list of mistakes first. That way, your added level of awareness can help prevent you from committing these again.

1. Not Getting Accustomed To Steep Slopes And Rough Terrain

Driving a side-by-side is going to be a lot more complicated than any other vehicle. Simply because the side-by-side doesn’t just go through flat terrain. When you’re driving, it’s usually going to be on rough terrain, steep slopes, and low traction. Unfortunately, many UTV drivers still commit the mistake of not familiarizing themselves well enough with how to control the steering wheel in this kind of environment. 

The general rule to follow when driving through this type of terrain is to have one foot on the gas and the other on the brake. As you climb the vehicle, you must exert so much more control over the side-by-side, to prevent slipping backward. 

2. Not Packing And Preparing Well Enough

Many side-by-side drivers are still in it for the coolness of the ride and not the functionality. This is wrong. Remember that UTV is a very spacious vehicle. When you’re driving and going on trails, it’s up to you also to take advantage of the space that it has. Don’t make the mistake of modifying the vehicle too much, such as, for instance, taking up much of the storage space in exchange for a cool radio.

Preparing for a trail on your side-by-side necessarily involves packing the following in the storage:

  • First aid kit
  • Equipment needed to troubleshoot jumper cables, a flat tire, and even to change the CVT belt

For added information on the proper preparation of your UTV, visit reliable and trusted websites specializing in UTVs.

3. Not Getting Used To Seeing The Terrain Right Ahead

It takes a lot of skill and practice to get used to seeing the terrain straight ahead. In most cases, however, side-by-side drivers make the common mistake of not trusting the spotter. That’s when unfortunate accidents start to happen.

If you wish to excel as a UTV driver, it’s imperative that you also learn how to trust the spotter. Remember that this person can see so much better than you can. Whatever your spotter tells you, listen. Don’t try to overturn whatever advice they say. Turn right twelve inches, do so. While you may be the driver behind the wheel, your ability to look straight ahead may be hampered by the size of the vehicle. This is precisely why you have to learn to trust.

4. Not Wearing Safety Gear

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Image by Thomas B. from Pixabay

Generally, UTV is a very safe vehicle. Should any accident happen, the cage of the side-by-side is going to keep you inside. But, this doesn’t mean that you’re protected from possible major bumps on your head or body. This is why it’s very important never to commit the mistake of not wearing safety gear. When you see other drivers do this, correct them. Your safety gear is still your best protection against harmful and dangerous outside forces.

Basic safety gear that you should wear include:

  • Helmet
  • Protective eye gear
  • Eye protection
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Closed shoes
  • Gloves

5. Being Overconfident In Your Abilities

Yes, UTV driving does require ability and skill. But, this doesn’t mean that every time you drive out, you know exactly what you’re doing. Even when you’ve been driving your UTV for so long, this doesn’t warrant you to become overly confident. While you may already know how to maneuver your personal side-by-side, you may not be well versed in the terrain that you’re going on.

Always remember that when you’re driving the UTV, always keep your speed to a minimum. Don’t go too fast, as it only gives you so little time to react to the terrain. It also cuts down the time that you have left to correct possible difficulties you may have while driving.

6. Driving Alone

Many UTV drivers tend to drive alone. Even those that perhaps may not be racing. Say, for instance, you need the side-by-side to travel through a farm or whatever steep terrain to transport goods. Even still, it’s always best to have a companion. You never know what difficulty you’re going to encounter while you’re alone.

Should you meet an accident or get stuck, you’ve got someone to help you out to troubleshoot or call for help. The same holds if you also get into an accident, or when something in the machine breaks down. Having a companion keeps you at a higher degree of safety.

7. Ignoring The Tire Pressure

UTV Tire Pressure 300x200 - Side-By-Side Driving Mistakes To Avoid
Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay

A prudent driver will always check the tire pressure before he even begins driving. A bad driver will ignore the tire pressure levels. This is a terrible mistake to commit. But, many drivers are doing this. Just because you’re going on a quick ride, this doesn’t mean that you should ignore the tire pressure levels. 

Making the mistake of ignoring the tire pressures can be a regrettable one, as it can often lead to danger. Additionally, whatever kind of vehicle you’re driving, ignoring the tire pressures may also lead to costly repairs in the future. As the tires are what keeps your side-by-side stable on rough terrain, proper tire pressure is also needed for the overall safety of your machine. The performance can be affected, too. Taking good care of the tires is always an important part of side-by-side ownership.

Conclusion

Driving a side-by-side vehicle looks easy but imperative that you learn the Side-By-Side Driving Mistakes To Avoid. Most definitely so, as its controls are highly similar to that of any other car. But, remember that it’s not only the car driving the vehicle itself that’s going to be your challenge. There’s also the need for you to safely maneuver the UTV through difficult terrain, and with speed. This list of mistakes isn’t meant to mock. Rather, it’s an added awareness, such that on your next trail, you’re not going to commit these mistakes again.