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Safety Tips For ATVs

Safety Tips For ATVs

What do you use your ATV for? Racing, rural work, or as an adventure hobby vehicle? However you use your vehicle, safety should always be a top priority. Whether you’re a beginning rider or someone who rides every week, you can develop new safety practices and tweak the ones you’ve already got in place. Here are our ATV safety tips that can enhance your riding experience and ensure you get home.

  1. Frequently Check Crucial Mechanics: There are several areas that you need to check before heading off for the trails or a day of working in the field. Some of these should be your tire pressure, brakes, steering, and suspension. Ensure all are in good working condition, and if not, remedy them before using your ATV. You don’t want to further the wear on parts that need to be replaced or put off changing essential fluids. A flat tire or dead battery could leave you stranded, which are things that could be avoided. Also make sure you’ve got enough gas in the tank to get to your destination and back without having to cross your fingers hoping you’ll make it. Get in the habit of checking over your ATV so when something isn’t right, you’ll notice more quickly.

  2. Wear the Right Protective Gear: Something that the ATV community doesn’t do as often as it should is wearing the right gear to protect themselves when riding. Broken bones are much easier to mend than traumatic head injuries. This is something that we can’t emphasize enough—riding helmetless is not the way to go. Not only will helmets protect your head, but full-face styles will keep your eyes and ears safe as well. Invest in a quality helmet and request friends and family to do the same.

    Other protective gear you should wear for riding includes gloves, boots, shin guards, a chest protector, and elbow guards. If you aren’t going to be riding trails or tracks, at the very least you should wear a helmet, a long-sleeve shirt, long pants, boots, and gloves. These should be DOT-compliant. They will at least protect you from tree branches, airborne debris, and rocks kicked up by your tires.

  3. Only Choose Designated Trails: Typically, ATVs are only meant for trails designated for these types of vehicles. Because of this, don’t drive your ATV on paved public roads if you can help it. You should only use these roads to cross over legally with no traffic around. The last thing you want is for a car to not see you and slam into you or a loved one. On the trails, maintain a safe speed so you don’t overturn your ATV or cause unnecessary wear and tear to the inner mechanisms. This is especially true if you’re a beginning rider.

  4. Register in An ATV Safety Course: The ATV Safety Institute (ASI) offer three e-courses for every type of rider—teens, adults, and those who will supervise their young riders. These courses can be done in the comfort of your home where you’ll learn more about basic ATV safety principles through videos, quizzes, photos, and checklists. Upon completion of the course, students will earn a certificate. ASI also offers their ATV RiderCourse, wherein students partake in a hands-on course instruction. Riders will have the opportunity to practice a number of different skills, including starting, stopping, turning, obstacle mastering, and much more. Courses like these are useful for anyone learning to ride or wanting to further their ATV education.

  5. Ride the Appropriately Sized ATV For Your Age: There are properly sized ATVs for both children and adults. Absolutely do not allow young riders to drive adult ATVs, as they’re too heavy and powerful for someone under 16 to independently operate. There have been thousands of accidents and even deaths related to improper ATV size. Youth models are smaller with speed limiters, making them safer and easier to handle. The same applies for adults—don’t show off on the kid’s ATVs! The vehicle won’t be able to evenly support your weight, which could also be dangerous.

    It’s also important to note that children under the age of six should never be on an ATV—period. The risk of injury is extremely high for children this age, so wait for them to get older before introducing them to ATVs.

  6. Passengers: If your ATV is designed to seat a passenger, then all is well. It becomes a major issue when you’ve got someone on the back of a single-rider ATV. Overloading the vehicle will make it harder to operate and potentially prevent the driver from controlling the ATV. Don’t risk safety for a joyride!