The following is provided for information only. Driving or riding can be a dangerous activity, what you do on your own time with your own vehicle is up to you. Always drive / ride safe and never do anything that would endanger pedestrians or other motorists. The roads belong to everyone; make sure that you, and everyone you pass, makes it home safely. By using this site you agree to release lateralg.org from any liability resulting from your actions.
Heading out into the mountains and canyons for high speed, close to the limit driving is dangerous. I don't deny that. If you weren't taking at least some risk, would it really be fun?
Still, that doesn't mean we want to crash our cars or get ourselves or anyone else hurt. There are several things you can do to minimize the risk of our chosen hobby, and preparations should begin before you even start the car. Just jumping into the car without any preparation will end badly sooner or later.
Making sure you are up to the drive is the first thing to do. Get a good night's sleep. Don't go driving early in the morning after a hard night's partying and drinking. Of course, never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol; this includes prescription and over the counter drugs. Nasal decongestants and other seemingly innocent pills can slow your reaction times and blur your judgment. If you are sick or tired you should face facts and stay at home. There will always be another chance to get out and play on the roads.
If you are ready, now it is time to make sure your car is too. It may seem obvious, but there are several things you should check before you head out;- Tire pressure, front and rear
- Proper lug-nut torque settings, never trust the corner tire shop to do this right.
- Oil level
- All lights are working properly
- Valid tags, registration, and insurance.
- Never engage in this kind of driving without full liability and comprehensive insurance!
- Periodic inspection of brakes, suspension, and tie-rods by a quality mechanic.
Okay, you and your car are ready to go. But remember that you are quite possibly going to be far from civilization for several hours and you never know what emergency or situation may happen to you or one of your driving partners. Below is a list of suggested items to have with you or in your car to ensure you are ready for whatever happens.- Comfortable clothes and shoes
- Fresh water
- Food / snacks
- Extra oil
- Warning flares and/or triangle
- First aid kit
- Two-way radios to keep in contact with the rest of the drivers.
If you are the group or event leader in can be important to separate the drivers/cars based on their experience and skill level. Mixing highly skilled drivers with high-performance vehicles in the same group as a family sedan with oversize tires can have negative results on the road.
Some thought should be given to keeping different classes and groups separate. This can be done by having separate class leaders, each responsible for the cars in his group; spacing the start times of the groups by several minutes with fastest leaving first; and possibly even using some kind of identifier on the front and back of each vehicle for easy recognition on the road.
It will all depend on how many vehicles are involved in the drive, how big of a spread there is between the best and newest driver, and how well all drivers know each other. The better the preparation the more fun you will have and the safer it will all be.