On-Pavement Driving

Government data show that most rollover accidents for multi-purpose vehicles are caused when a driver loses control of the vehicle and leaves the paved portion of the roadway striking a ditch, curb or other offroad object that causes the vehicle to overturn.

The following driving practices may reduce the risk of rollover.

Vehicle Slides Off-Road

You can reduce the risk of this kind of rollover accident by always keeping the vehicle under control. Typically, drivers lose control of vehicles, often resulting in rollover accidents, when the driver is impaired because of alcohol or other drugs, falls asleep at the wheel or is otherwise inattentive, or is driving too fast for the road conditions.

Rollovers On the Roadway

If, for any reason, your vehicle slides sideways or spins out of control at highway speeds, while on the paved portion of the roadway, the risk of rollover is greatly increased. This condition can be created when two or more wheels drop off onto the shoulder and you steer sharply in an attempt to reenter the roadway. To reduce the risk of rollover in these circumstances, if conditions permit, you should hold the steering wheel firmly and slow down before pulling back into the travel lanes with controlled steering movements.

All Types of Rollover Accidents

As with many kinds of automobile accidents, rollovers can be greatly reduced by doing what all prudent drivers should do, i.e., don’t drink and drive, don’t drive when tired and don’t do anything behind the wheel that could cause a loss of attention to the driving task.

Additional guidelines are set out below for your on-road driving.

Know Your Vehicle

Take time to familiarize yourself with the unique handling characteristics of your vehicle by first driving around in an area away from traffic. Practice turning the vehicle at a variety of speeds and in different directions. Get a feel for the greater steering response that your vehicle has over a conventional car.

Wear Your Seat Belts at All Times

The driver and all passengers should be properly restrained at all times, using the seat belts provided. Refer to the “Seat Belts and Child Restraint Systems” section for instructions on proper use of the seat belts.

Don’t Make Sharp Turns

As mentioned before, small multipurpose vehicles have specific design characteristics that allow them to perform in a wide variety of applications. These characteristics also change the cornering behavior relative to conventional passenger cars.

Remember, small multipurpose vehicles have more responsive steering and a higher center of gravity than conventional passenger cars. If at all possible, avoid making sharp turns in your vehicle.

Slow Down on Curves

Learn to approach curves cautiously and at a conservative speed. Do not attempt to take curves at the same speeds that you would in a vehicle with a lower center of gravity. Just as you would not drive a sports car on a trail, you should not attempt to drive your vehicle around curves like a sports car.

Slow Down and Use Caution on Slippery Roads

Under wet road conditions you should drive at a lower speed than on dry roads due to possible slippage of tires during braking. When driving on icy, snowcovered or muddy roads, reduce your speed and avoid sudden acceleration, abrupt braking or sharp steering movements. Use 4-wheel drive high range (4H) (if equipped) for better traction.

Do not operate your vehicle in “4H LOCK” or “4L LOCK” on dry, hard surfaces. Operating your vehicle in “4H LOCK” or “4L LOCK” on dry, hard surfaces puts severe stress to the drive train, especially during tight cornering, and can damage it. Also, you may have some difficulty steering.

Avoid operating your vehicle in “4H LOCK” or “4L LOCK” on wet pavement as much as possible. Operating your vehicle in “4H LOCK” or “4L LOCK” on wet pavement may cause severe damage to the drive train.

Operating your vehicle in “4H” on dry and tight corner may cause some vibration on your vehicle. This is not caused by the vehicle malfunction, but caused by working of the limited slip differential gear in the center differential.

Unevenly worn tires can cause problems in the operation of the transfer switch. Be sure to rotate the tires according to the maintenance schedule.

Refer to “Tires” and “Maintenance Schedule” in the
“INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE” section for proper tire rotation procedures.

See also:

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Important Vehicle Design Features To Know
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Gear Oil
Specified Gear Oil Manual transaxle (API GL-4) Rear differential oil (i-AWD)/Transfer oil of automatic transaxle model (i-AWD) (API GL-5 Hypoid) When replacing gear oil, use the appropriate ...

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