Off-roading is a driving style which emerged out of the lack of well levelled roads. They are generally practiced on unkempt muddy surfaces and rough paths filled with puddles and severe ups and down. You learn a lot about the capabilities of your car while off roading and how it behaves. Off roading has become a passion for a lot of people and sponsors love to hold off roading track races for experiences. There is also a great deal of risk involved in off roading as there no certain outcome of how the car will react on a certain track. The smallest of mistakes can make your car topple, leading to accidents for the occupants of your car. One such danger is off roading during river crossing. It may look very exciting to do, but if the driver is not capable enough to know the potential of your car, then it can cause an accident or the car could very well stop or get stuck. Here are two such examples.
This first video shows the modified Maruti Suzuki Gypsy crossing a fast flowing river. It seems to be shot during the monsoon season as the river flow looks very rapid and the currents seem at the prime of their strength. In the video, the Gypsy goes smoothly half way through the river but eventually gets stuck.
The tricky part was that the driver had to escape from the situation without even being able to get out of the car. However the capable driver here, is seen reversing the Gypsy to break free from the spot where he was stuck and came out rather smoothly to the opposite bank.
The second video is from Spiti Valley by the famous and extremely talented Sunny Sindhu. Sunny Sindhu is known to have won a lot of rally championships and is an extremely experienced driver. In the video, he is seen scouting for safe routes for other vehicles to cross the river. The Mahindra Thar could be seen entering the river but eventually getting stuck with the Thar floating on the river surface. It is quite common that the depth of the river cannot be judged from the banks of the river.
The current of the river is so strong that even the Thar floating in the deep crevice, the river made the Thar change directions and Sunny seems to have lost control over the car. However, an experienced driver like Sunny, just need to find his calm and presence of mind to get out of such situations. He puts the vehicle in reverse and patiently waits for the car to find its traction. As soon as the Thar finds traction, Sunny could maneuver the car and get it to a safe spot.
Experience is important. Experience is the power to get out of most situations in life, but more so in driving. There are so many permutations and combinations of situations that can be thrown while you’re handling a car on the road. Off-roading should also be taken up once the driver is ready to take on the challenge. The enthusiast would need tonnes of practice and experience with different cars and understanding how they’d react in different situations.
Crossing a river is a whole other level as you can’t ever be certain about the depth or the current of the flowing river. It is extremely dangerous and you should try to avoid it. It is quite common for cars getting washed out with the current and escaping becomes a trouble as the doors are impossible to open in these cases. Even if you’re attempting it with a 4X4, you should know your car’s temperament and capabilities.