ATV Safety Tips
As a new rider, the matter of safety should never be overlooked. While an all-terrain vehicle is a lot of fun, there are a few unique risks associated with them, such as flipping them over, losing control, or accidents in general. Here are the top 10 useful ATV safety tips you can use to make your next ride a little safer.
1. Check the vehicle
One of the best ATV safety tips is to check the vehicle before a ride. You want to check essentials like the lug nuts, brakes, tire pressure or tire punctures, and other signs of wear and tear. If you ride out on a vehicle that is on its last leg, you will find yourself stranded so it is better to take care of these issues before you head out.
2. Wear gear
When you buy an ATV, the next thing you buy should be a high-quality helmet. Riding an ATV without a helmet is a terrible idea, regardless of your experience or comfort level with this vehicle type. You will be riding over rough terrains and uneven ground in all sorts of climates and weather conditions and accidents can be common, so a helmet is nonnegotiable. Make sure you choose a helmet made of durable materials and tested to comply with industry standards for impact guidelines.
In addition to a reliable helmet, you should also wear protective gear such as gloves to protect your hands and provide better grip, riding boots for better gripping and protection for feet, and a riding jacket which will protect you from the winds and give some extra protection should you lose control or flip. A pair of riding google is a must if your helmet isn’t a full-face model.
3. Don’t multitask while riding
Another one of the best ATV safety tips is just good driving regardless of whether you are on an all-terrain vehicle or driving a car. Multitasking and riding are not a good combo. Too many accidents are caused by overly confident riders thinking they can check their phone or take a sip of their drink while riding. Anything that takes your full and total focus off the trail is a bad idea. It is better to pull off the trail and take care of what you need to do and then start riding again than to ride distracted. Riding requires your full attention no matter how experienced you are at riding!
4. Ride with a buddy
The buddy system is a great safety method for riding in the wilderness. While you will most likely ride trails that are designated trails, it doesn’t mean you should ride alone. You should aim to ride with a group or at the very least another rider. This will ensure that if something does happen like an accident or vehicle malfunction, you will have some help ready to assist you. It can also be helpful if you lose your way or go off trail by mistake because you can find your group to get back on the trail or regroup.
5. Don’t ride double on a single rider
While you want to ride with a buddy system in place, this doesn’t mean you should double ride on a single rider model of ATV. There are double models on the market, but unless you have one specified as such, you should ride single rider to avoid too much weight on the machine which can lead to tipping over.
6. Stick to designated trails
When you are first starting out as a rider, you are probably excited to get out there and travel over uncharted territory, but it is better to familiarize yourself with the nature of ATV riding on trusted, designated trails. This will ensure you won’t get lost or take on a terrain tougher than you are used to which could lead to an accident. Many trails are marked by difficulty level, so you can work your way up once you get more comfortable with riding and know you can safely handle a challenge.
7. Stay aware of surroundings
When you are out riding in the wild, you should stay aware of the surroundings for a few reasons. For starters, you need to make sure you are staying on the trail and following any markers placed throughout, so you don’t get lost. You also want to watch for other riders because others may not be following the basic rules of the trail like not passing on a turn or staying within the following distance recommended for safe trail riding. Finally, even on designated trails, the potential for wild animals to make an appearance isn’t uncommon. From wild boars to aggressive bears, you need to watch out for any animals, so you can avoid them to protect both the animal and yourself from harm.
8. Choose an appropriate ATV
Many people buy an ATV as a family fun experience. If you are looking for an appropriate ATV for younger riders, there are a few basic guidelines to help with this matter. For example, when looking for an option suitable for riders under 16 years old, opt for a 90cc engine over something like a 250cc engine because it will be less power for a young rider to wield. However, a teen 16 or older needs a larger option than the 90cc because they are pulling more weight and need a more powerful engine to compensate.
9. Take breaks
When you are riding, make sure you take breaks. Riding an ATV is a physical activity where you spend a lot of time in the riding position which is standing rather than sitting. From the muscles used in the arms to grip and steer the handlebars to the way your legs and core have to support you while riding, it can be tiring so make sure you take breaks when you need to rather than toughing it out and potentially wiping out later on.
10. Don’t be a show-off
Doing tricks on an ATV can be a lot of fun. If you aren’t experienced at tricks, they can lead to accidents and damage to your vehicle. The bottom line is don’t be a show off unless you want to potentially pay the consequences of trying to look cool.