One of the best ways to explore everything Minnesota has to offer is to climb behind the handlebars of an all-terrain vehicle. Before you do, though, you must realize the inherent dangers ATVs present. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more than 15,000 individuals died in ATV accidents between 1983 and 2017. Further, in 2017, roughly 94,000 riders, passengers or bystanders sustained some type of injury from an ATV.
To arrive at your destination safely, you must ride responsibly. Wearing a helmet is also often an effective strategy for staying safe on an ATV. Unfortunately, though, not all riding helmets offer the same protection. Here are some tips for choosing the best helmet for you and your riding style.
Look for a safety rating
Some ATV helmets look better than they perform. To be certain you are purchasing a helmet that protects your head, look for a safety rating. The U.S. Department of Transportation and nonprofit Snell Foundation both issue safety ratings. If you want to invest in a helmet from a European manufacturer, look for the Economic Commission for Europe’s seal of approval.
Find the perfect fit
To function properly, your ATV helmet must fit your head perfectly. That is, it must neither be too loose nor too tight. Therefore, plan to try on your helmet before buying it. Then, use the chin strap to ensure your new helmet stays firmly in place.
Do not ignore damage
Even though ATV helmets can be expensive, you probably do not want to keep yours forever. During a collision, tiny cracks may weaken your helmet’s overall integrity. This can also happen during a drop. If you notice any signs of damage or know your helmet has been through a crash, replace it before your next off-road adventure.
Even though ATVs are incredibly fun to ride, they can also be dangerous. By committing always to wearing the best helmet possible, you likely decrease your chances of dying or sustaining an injury on your ATV.