By Eugene L. of ALLOUTDOOR.COM
07-21-22 Volusia County
In most parts of the nation beach driving is either highly regulated needing passes and other requirements or just flat out not permitted, but in Volusia County on the Fun Coast of Florida that is not the case. Ranging from Ormond Beach down to New Smyrna Beach there is easy public access to drivable stretches of the beach. To access these beaches there are no prerequisites or special permits needed.
For vehicle choice, I recommend only taking 4-wheel drive vehicles onto the sand. While I did see many 2-wheel drive cars on the beach, I also saw many 2-wheel drive vehicles get stuck. Talking to a Beach Patrol Officer while helping get a truck unstuck he says on the weekends in just his small stretch of beach north of Ponce Inlet he says anywhere north of 20 cars get stuck on a busy day. Also, while he chooses to help people get unstuck, it’s not actually his job to help people get their cars out of the sand. Other officers will just hand out the phone number to the tow truck that works the beach under contract.
Soft Sand Warning
The beach can vary in condition so it can either be hard-packed sand or very soft sand that only 4-wheel drive cars can pass. The beach patrol will put out signs to warn you of the conditions so do pay attention as you drive. Either before you get on the beach or right as you get on the beach you should air down your tires. This will increase the surface area of your tires, which gives you a better grip and more likely to stay on top of the sand instead of digging in. Airing down is also better for your drive train in the long run.
I recommend having at least some basic recovery gear with you when heading out onto the beach. I brought some traction boards, a small shovel, and a compact air compressor. All three of which were utilized by the end of the day. Other items I might recommend would be a recovery rope or snatch strap with shackles. There were several cars that ended up buried too deep to be dug out and had to be yanked out.
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The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal Florida.