Driving on a beach can be a fun, if done properly. It is not everywhere that you can splash water around, go side ways and do donuts at a single location. However, there are a lot of precautions that need to be taken before venturing into one.
For starters, not all beaches allow you to take your vehicle inside. Ensure you take the necessary permissions before hand so that you don’t end up getting into trouble. Muzhappilangad Beach in Kerala is one of the longest beaches in Asia that allows you to drive.
Another thing to keep in mind is the surface of the beach. Soft sand beaches are a complete no-no. The only beaches where you should consider driving in are those that have relatively hard sand. Think of it this way, if it takes you effort to walk through the sand, your car, that weighs more than 10 times your weight is surely going to get stuck.
So you have narrowed down on a beach that allows you to drive and has suitable surface to do so, there are still more things you need to keep in mind.
Reduce your tyre pressure. This will increase the contact between the vehicle and the sand thus distributing the load better and chance of you getting stuck will reduce.
Remove unwanted weight. The more the weight, the more the chances of getting stuck.
Drive smoothly. Accelerating and braking suddenly will cause excessive pressure on the tyres and it could lead to your car getting stuck. Accelerate gradually, keep the momentum and be smooth.
Don’t venture in too deep. Yes, as exciting as it is to go and splash more and more water, it is not advisable to go very deep. The deeper you go, the surface turns more and more slushy and it could end up with you getting stuck. Even if you have a 4WD vehicle.
Know the tide. Please make sure you gather information about the timing of the tides. You don’t want to venture into a beach in high tide.
Never park your car near the water. There have been many instances where people have parked their vehicles near the water to take a picture and ended up having their car stuck in the water. If you want to have pictures taken, ask someone else to do so and park you car in solid ground.
Ensure that water doesn’t enter the engine compartment or the air intake while you are enjoying.
If you do get stuck, Do not try and accelerate. It is just going to get you stuck deeper. If you have enough people, try pushing the car out or get some external help to get it out. Make sure you get your car out before the change in tide or you may end up loosing your car. If possible, keep the number of a tractor or something that can fetch you out if you get stuck.
Once you are done having fun on the beach, ensure that you get the tyre pressure back to normal. Also you will need to get your car thoroughly pressure washed, especially the under body. The salty sea water accelerates rust formation. So make sure you get your car washed immediately.