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All Terrain Vehicle Safety

Nowadays, the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) is gaining in popularity. Before you get on your very own ATV, it’s best to learn about the safety aspects. Here are some tips and resources.

Rider Training

  • Make sure you get your training from a verified, trusted rider training school because you want to be learning from the professionals.
  • Learn the controls of an ATV – learn how to increase your speed, how to brake, and what the shift levers are. This is important because if you don’t know how to use these things, you can get into some trouble.
  • Riding posture is important. You should always be riding with your back straight, both hands on the handles, and your feet firmly planted on the ATV.
  • When turning, your head should be turned in the direction you are turning. Your body weight should be leaning into the turn, and you should be turning the handlebars.
  • When riding uphill, your body weight should be forward and you should be standing. You need to be low enough to maintain a low center of gravity. Always remember not to ride up a hill you won’t be able to safely ride down.

Before You Ride

Riding Gear

  • You need to be wearing a long sleeved-shirt, boots, long pants, and gloves when riding even in hot weather.
  • Boots should come up to above the ankles to protect them and gloves should have padding over the knuckles.
  • Long sleeved shirts and good pants prevent any kind of scratches from bushes that you ride through.
  • Helmets should fit the head tightly, but not too tight.
  • Goggles are also needed to protect one’s eyes from flying debris, much the same as a windshield is needed in a car.

Respecting the Outdoors

  • Learn about the area that you are riding in so that you understand what you’re going to be riding around. Some areas have restrictions that need to be respected. It doesn’t hurt to get a map of an area and learn it.
  • Make sure your ATV is quiet because they are designed to run as quiet as possible. Excessive noise frightens the animals that live in the area you are riding.
  • Always obey the closure signs and road markers. Although the reason may not be clear as to why an area is closed, there is always a good reason so you should respect that.
  • If you happen to ride through any gates or fences that you have to open, always make sure that you close them when you leave. Often, there are livestock in an area and leaving a gate open can allow them to escape.
  • As usual, always leave an area free of trash and clutter when you leave it. If you’re feeling generous, clean up trash that was there when you got there.

Finding the Right ATV

  • The age of a rider is very important. You can’t buy a full-size ATV for a 10-year-old. Children 6 and older belong on 70 ccs. 12 and older belong on 90 ccs while 16 and older can ride ATVs 90 ccs and up!
  • It might be a good idea to rent an ATV first, just to get a feel for a certain brand and to see if it fits you.
  • Consider whether you want an automatic or manual. For younger children, automatic is the best way to go and for many who can’t use manual, it’s their only option.
  • There is a large price range when it comes to ATVs. Make sure you do your research so that you get the most for your money. Find an ATV that’s the right size but doesn’t break the bank.
  • You should also make sure that you find the right type of ATV. Some types are better for dessert riding and some do better in wet, muddy areas. Ask an ATV expert about this when you go into a showroom. They’ll know what kind you need.

ATV Resources

ATV Safety: Provides information about ATV safety and discusses where you can report accidents.

Safety and Accidents: Discusses ATV accidents and statistics.

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