Driving a Jeep Without Doors Is Safer Than You Think
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There’s been exciting news lately about the Jeep Wrangler. Stellantis, Jeep’s parent company, recently revealed an Xtreme Recon package, which beefs up the Wrangler’s already impressive off-road stats.
An electric Wrangler was also introduced, and Jeep seems to be rising to the challenge that the new Ford Bronco has issued. The Wrangler has been a staple of the Jeep line-up since 1987 when the CJ was redesigned and given the Wrangler name plate. The Wrangler is synonymous with off-roading, but it’s not just this capability that draws people to the vehicle. Jeeps are known for off-road capabilities
The Wrangler is incredibly customizable
With a removable top and doors, in both two and four-door versions, the Wrangler is easily customizable. The top comes in either soft canvas that folds down for easy conversions, or a hardtop that’s fully removable.
The doors are also designed to come off easily. They lift off the hinges when the door is open, and there’s enough room to stow them in the cargo area of the Wrangler. Many enthusiasts enjoy running off-road, or even on highways and in town, with the doors off.
Understandably, that comes with some concerns. Can driving a Wrangler with the doors off be safe, especially when driving at higher speeds on paved roads?
Side mirrors help keep you safe when driving doorless
According to a Jeep Wrangler forum, Jeep vehicles are designed to be safe without the doors. But, you still need to take a few precautions to make sure it’s legal and safe to drive.
The side mirrors are part of the doors, so taking off the doors also means taking off the mirrors. In some states, driving without at least one mirror on the driver’s side is illegal. In states where it’s legal, it’s still safer to have mirrors.
Fortunately, there’s an easy fix for this. Some companies make aftermarket mirrors just for Wranglers. These mirrors slip right into the empty hinges when the doors are off and you don’t need any tools. There are also mirrors that you can attach to the side of the windshield.
It’s recommended that you replace the mirrors with at least one on the driver’s side when you take off the doors.
Be cautious when driving without doors
Whether you’re off-road or on pavement, driving without doors on a Jeep means that you should be more cautious. You should watch for road debris even though it’s unlikely to land in the body of the vehicle.
Try not to follow other vehicles too closely when driving on the highway. They could kick up loose rocks or other debris. When off-roading, be aware of any obstacles that might get into the cab, like tree limbs or brush.
Be sure you check the weather! A sudden rainstorm might not be dangerous, but it can be distracting.
Make sure to maintain safe driving habits
While driving without doors, don’t rest your feet on the rocker panels, or anywhere outside the Jeep. Keep your hands and arms inside the cab as well, and make sure everything is secured inside the Jeep.
There isn’t any guidance that says you can’t go at highway speeds with the doors off, but it might be best to take things a little slower. You’ll want to have more time to react to any hazards on the road.
The Jeep Wrangler can be serious fun to drive, and the allure of taking the top and doors off is hard for some enthusiasts to resist. There’s no danger in taking off the doors if you’re taking safety precautions. Part of being careful is making sure that you have adequate car insurance.
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