Reader Question: Driving on the Beach?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Martin asks: I’m planning a road trip from Miami to Maine. My friend will be doing all the driving and he’s afraid to drive on beaches because he once had a rental car wash out to sea during a horrendous storm. The rental company blacklisted him which was horrible because he rents 30-60 times a year. Last trip I took with him he hit a deer in Wyoming with the Escalade. That was the one time he decided not to purchase any supplemental  insurance because the line at the airport was too long. Fortunately the credit card company covered it.

Do you have an advice about driving on the beach?

My reply: If you plan any beach (sand) driving, I’d recommend a vehicle with as much ground clearance as possible as that can be all the difference between stuck – and not – regardless of AWD/4WD. Also, if you plan to go on the beach, make sure you’ve got tires (M/S rated) designed for that environment. Many AWD/4WD vehicles come with all-season tires, which ride more smoothly and produce less road noise. These are fine for paved roads… but no so fine for off-road, especially sand!

Be aware of your surroundings and the terrain at all times. Do not let yourself be distracted. Stop and check the terrain before you drive on it.

Go slowly.

Lowering air pressure also helps –  just remember to re-inflate the tires to the correct/recommended PSI before resuming on-road driving.

And – this is just me – don’t get too near the water. Some are braver than I. I prefer not to become a Uboat commander!

. . .

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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  1. Down on Padre Island you always drive on the wet sand near the water. In the dry sand you will get stuck in a hurry.

    At high tide better find somewhere else to be!


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