Anything that you can ride that goes relatively fast has a bit of a danger factor to it. As fun as ATVs are to drive, they come with some expected risk. Of course there are some common sense tips, but there is always that you may not be aware of that could potentially keep you out of harms way. Besides the simple tasks of using the ATV for what it is meant for and paying attention to your surroundings, there are a number of ways that you can have a great time on the machinery without putting your well being in danger.
Wear Proper Gear
Just as your mother told you to always wear a helmet when bike riding, the same goes for ATV operation. A large number of ATV injuries are head injuries, some more severe than others. Never go anywhere on your ATV without a helmet that fits the DOT standards. You will also want to wear other protective gear, including long sleeves and pants, goggles, gloves, and boots that cover your ankles. Wearing the above covering will not only protect you from the elements, but also in the case that an accident does occur.
Avoid Paved Roads
ATVs, short for all-terrain vehicles, are not meant for paved roads where regular cars drive. Because they are meant for tougher terrain, they tend to be difficult to control when on the smooth pavement. It is also important to stay off the road because a collision between an ATV and a vehicle could be deadly. A large number of ATV fatalities take place when the driver was operating on a paved road.
Passengers Not Recommended
Although it is fun to share your ride with your best friend or sibling, it is not recommended. One person ATVs should always only carry one rider and two person ATVs should not exceed two. It may not seem like a big deal, but ATVs are designed to be interactive to the driver and controlled by the shifting of the weight. This feature makes it extremely hard to control an ATV when more passengers are on the vehicle than what it suggests.
Take A Class
A safety class may sound boring, but you may be surprised at how informative and interactive a hands-on learning ATV class can be. These classes tend to focus on how to control your ATV when in a number of situations. Riders who participate in classes such as these significantly lower their chances for experiencing injuries or other damage issues.
There is no end to steps you can take to ensure you or someone you love stays safe when operating an ATV. Never let children operate an adult vehicle, don’t attempt to operate while under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, and make sure you stick to the trails you know are favorable to ATVs and continue at a safe speed. As with any vehicle, practicing safety is the first step in cutting back or eliminating accidents with the vehicle.
Written by Carey Wooldrige, owner of Yacht Club Powersports. Based out of the Lake of the Ozarks, Yacht Club Powersports is the leading Can Am dealer in the state of Missouri, serving Kansas City, St. Louis, Jefferson City and more!