A Safety Guide For ATV Riding
It is very easy to forget that riding an ATV can still put you in peril if you are reckless and careless when driving it. A lot of people treat it like toys thinking that no serious accident could come from it. Actually, there are hundreds of ATV fatalities in the USA every year. This can be avoided if you follow properly safety tips while you are on the ATV. In addition, you will have a lot more fun riding the ATV if you know exactly how to keep yourself safe.
ATV Safety Rules Every Rider Should Know
Take ATV Training
Allow yourself some time to get proper training on how to ride it. In the majority of areas, ATV training is free or cost a small fee. The training is hands-on and ATC riders are taught to control it under any situation, especially during an emergency. Make sure that you end the training knowing everything about riding an ATV to avoid any accidents.
Wear Protective Gear
Together with experience and skills, an ATV rider should wear the right protective gear. Here are the equipment required:
- Helmet – Always wear a helmet when riding your ATV and it should only be the kind that the U.S. Department of Transportation certified (DOT) or by the Snell Memorial Foundation. If it is certified by both, that is excellent.
- Over-the-ankle-boots – Giving your feet and ankles protection is important. Since you are going to ride in terrains, even muddy ones, your boots require a nubby sole for enough grip. Make sure your boots are not too tight, which makes your ride uncomfortable.
- Goggles – Since a lot of ATV trails go through wooded areas with branches, dirt, rocks, and bugs, your goggles should be a snug-fit so that debris do not reach your eyes at all. If they get in your eyes, you could get distracted and have an accident.
- Gloves – Wear full-fingered goggles to have a better grip on the ATV handles. They also give protection against muscle cramps, calluses, thumb fatigue, and sore joints. Search for palm padding gloves because they are a lot better for the grip. It also helps if your gloves are waterproof so that even if you are passing through wet areas, your hands stay dry inside.
- Long-sleeve shirts and pants – You are protected against scratches, abrasions, and other things that could hurt you when you cover your arms and legs.
Stay Away from Paved Roads
The only exception is if you are crossing a road that the law does not permit. You should only ride your ATV on the designated trails that the law allows. Highways and streets are not for ATVs. Riding on-road while using an off-road makes no sense and your ATV wheels can get trashed if you do this. You should only ride where your ATV is legal. You should also know the forecast before riding. A change in the weather condition creates a challenge for terrains and it could cause potential danger.
Do Not Go Over Your Capabilities When Riding
You should not try any tricks or stunts that is meant for the skilled or more experienced one, and avoid areas you are not familiar with. Remember that you should be able to easily navigate through the area where you are. Even though the design of ATVs is for off-road riding, only stick to the established trails. There is no way of knowing in advance what obstacles are out there if you get off the beaten path. This is another way that people get lost and struggle to get back on the right path.
Always Drive Sober
You should not drink or do drugs and then go on your ATV because this could kill you. In addition, distractions should be avoided at all costs. You do know that getting intoxicated or tipsy is not for someone who is about to drive. If you think that you can get away with it because you are not driving on main roads, you are wrong because when you have an accident, it is too late. Staying sober keeps you focused and you are driving with full attention.
Stick to Your ATV’s Passenger Capacity
Unless the ATV’s design can accommodate 2 people, do not take any passenger. Majority of ATVs are only for single-riders and are not for carrying additional people. Some have a longer seat, but do not mistake this for being able to accommodate 2 people. It is only to give the driver more room to shift their body when needed. Taking a passenger with you is an increased risk of having an accident.
Make Sure You Are Using an ATV That’s Right for You
ATVs are built in different types and sizes. When you are buying one, choose the one that will be good for what you will use it for. Are you going trail riding, towing, or racing? Your skill and strength should both be a factor. The bigger ATVs need more control and you need to be stronger to manage, and the smaller ones are less powerful. If you will buy it for your child, keep in mind that if they are under 16, they should not use an ATV that is bigger than 90cc.
Before Riding, Inspect
Make sure to do an inspection before riding your ATV.
Check the handlebars – Move around the handlebars to make sure that there are no problems with the steering and mobility.
Check the tires – The air pressure of your tires should be based on what the manufacturer recommends. You should check for any wear and tear.
Check the fluids and fuel – The gas, brake fluids, and coolant should all be full.
When you are new to riding an ATV, follow the safety tips mentioned here to make sure that you are not in danger of having an accident. Remember that your safety should be a priority at all times.