Getting on an ATV and exploring the trails can be one of the most fun summer activities. If you want to enjoy the outdoors in an exciting way, it is hard to top the experience of riding one of these compact yet powerful vehicles. But, as with any vehicle, there are some risks that come with riding them.
In fact, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission says that there are approximately 100,000 ATV injuries each year. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind to avoid ATV accidents and injuries.
Wear the right gear
An ATV alone does not offer you much protection. If you fall off of one or collide with another vehicle, you can easily sustain an injury. You should wear a helmet, goggles, gloves, boots, long-sleeve shirt or jersey, long pants and knee pads.
Thoroughly inspect your ATV
Perform a visual check on your ATV before you ride it. This minimizes the likelihood of a malfunction. Check the gas, tires, brakes, steering, oil, battery, chain and grips before every ride to be as safe as possible. You may need to make a few repairs or replacements.
Avoid paved roads
ATVs beat almost any vehicle for off-roading, but they do not perform well on paved roads. ATVs do not provide much grip or handling on the highway. Additionally, they do not meet the strict regulations of street-legal vehicles. For example, they do not have the proper turn signals, brake lights and reversing lights. Plus, they have poor visibility because they are small, so other drivers may have trouble noticing you.
Enroll in a safety course
Riding an ATV to the best of your ability takes time and effort. If you want to be the safest rider on the trail, it is always a good idea to take a safety course. A course will allow you to have a safe place to practice, receive practical advice and learn more about your vehicle.