When you think about driving a dune buggy, chances are you think about fun. You think about being off-road, perhaps on a beach driving along the coastline and through the dunes. Maybe you think about warm spring afternoons and hot summer days spent in the sunshine, driving along with a friend or two, through some grasslands and countryside.
All of that is well and good; however, many dune buggy drivers do not always put a lot of thought into being safe with their dune buggy driving. Every year, there are people who come into emergency rooms due to dune buggy-related accidents. These people are either the drivers and riders in the buggies-or they may be innocent bystanders who just happen to be near where the dune buggy was being driven.
In order to try to avoid any possible misfortunes when you are out having fun in your dune buggy, keep these driving tips in mind:
” Remember that dune buggies are legal road vehicles and must be treated as such. Whenever there is even a slight possibility that other vehicles may be around, drive defensively-assume that the other vehicles cannot see your dune buggy. This is because dune buggies are low to the ground and are often invisible to other drivers, especially around corners.
” Wear seatbelts at all times in your dune buggy. You never know when you might have to slam on the brakes, and you don’t want to have your body slammed into the frame of your buggy.
” Sand dunes exist to protect the land from storms. Plants are the building blocks of sand dunes, and they are easily killed by any vehicle. Drive between the sand dunes only-never drive or park on top of any sand dunes.
” Every year, lots of eggs and chicks of shorebirds that nest in the soft sand near the shoreline are crushed and killed. Stay on the harder sand so as to avoid these shorebird nests. Additionally, avoid driving near any flocks of birds on the beach-or any other animals on the beach, for that matter. Driving away from the shore will also mean that you will avoid shellfish beds that are near the water.
” When you are driving on a beach, take care to stay on vehicle routes. Not only will this help you to avoid the sand dunes, shorebirds, and shellfish, but it will also help you to steer clear of any pedestrians who may be using the beach.
” Do not make any sharp turns at any type of high speed, as this can easily cause your dune buggy to tip over. This can happen on just about any type of terrain on which you may be driving.
” Even though you may be driving a lot more slowly in your dune buggy, drinking and driving is never acceptable. You are still in control of a motor vehicle, so if you have had anything to drink, don’t get behind the wheel at all.