There is so much talk about ATV safety tips, but when it really comes down to it, there is only so much we can do to keep our riders safe. As parents and riders we need to be continually talking about safety and ensuring the whole family has the skills and gear to have fun on the trails and working on the farm. Here are the top 5 ATV SAFETY TIPS:
1) Ensure everyone has access to size appropriate gear and helmets.
Always Wear Protective Gear – Especially a Helmet – When Riding ATVs
- Over-the-ankle boots – to protect feet and ankles from injury.
- Goggles – to protect eyes from rocks and dust thrown up by ATVs.
- Gloves – to protect fingers and hands.
- Long pants and long-sleeved shirt – to protect skin from rocks, trees, and other debris.
2) ATVs are designed for interactive riding.
Do Not Drive ATVs With a Passenger or Ride as a Passenger
The driver’s body movement plays an integral part of the handling of an ATV and the driver must be able to shift his or her weight freely in at all times. If passengers get in the way or shift their weight improperly, the driver may not be able to safely control the ATV. In addition, most ATVs are not equipped with handholds or footrests for passengers and are not weighted to handle the extra weight on the back of the ATV, creating a higher risk for rollover.
How do you know if your ATV is for a Single or Double rider? Single rider ATVs display a warning label to remind drivers not to carry passengers. New “2-Up” ATVs on the market are specifically designed to carry a driver with a single passenger. According to manufacturers, these ATVs should never be used to carry children under 12 or to carry more than one passenger.
3) Cars and ATV do not mix.
Do Not Drive ATVs on Paved Roads
ATVs on paved roads are at risk of being hit by cars and other vehicles. While passenger vehicles contain safety features designed to protect occupants from collisions, ATVs do not.
In addition, most ATVs have low pressure tires and a solid rear axle, where both wheels turn at the same speed. When making a turn, the ATV’s inside rear wheel is intended to skid because its path length is less than the path length of the outside wheel. ATVs on paved surfaces have much better traction, which prevents the necessary skidding. This can make turning an ATV on paved surfaces unpredictable and unstable.
4) Size Matters, skill matters and age matters.
Do Not Permit Children to Drive or Ride Adult ATVs
Children under 16 years old lack the developmental skills to safely drive adult ATVs. These ATVs – with engine sizes over 90 cubic centimeters (cc) – can go over 70 mph and weigh hundreds of pounds. If this is not possible in your family, please consider these points at all times.
a) Children under 6 should never be on an ATV – either as a driver or passenger. Young children lack the physical ability and mental skills to safely maneuver a motorized vehicle with multiple speeds and controls. If it needs to be throttle limited or “speed governor” they are too young to ride.
b) The most common accident for youth riding ATV are flat ground rollovers where the rider did not have to strength or motor skills to control the weight of the ATV. Consider the weight of your child vs. the weight of the ATV?
5) For Goodness Sake just use common sense.
This final safety tip is by far the best. Your common sense can carry you a long way, especially involving your safety. Look around, know your terrain and surroundings, know where to get help, be constantly aware of your riding area, this could just save yours or someone else live!!
SEE YA IN THE MUDD!
Do Not Drive ATVs While Under the Influence Do not speed.
Carry a communication device with you at all times. Do not attempt tricks or stunts.
Don’t drive an ATV at night. Do a pre-ride inspection.