With the growing popularity of ATV’s and UTV’s in the USA today, it’s a good practice to know what to do to keep safe. Driving ATV’s and UTV’s isn’t the same thing as driving a car, even though they may be built better than some vehicles. In addition to being aware of other riders, there’s plenty of other obstacles like trees, rocks, dirt, uneven ground, etc. It’s best to know your environment, and practice safe riding no matter what age or how experienced you are.
Saftey Tips While Riding Motorsport Vehicles
Some of the safety tips we here at Brooks PowerSports would give you based on our experiences include:
Wear The Proper Safety Gear.
There are a lot of unknowns in off-road riding. They may include flying debris, ground changes, bad/ intoxicated riders, mud slides (I’ve seen it happen more than once), and the list goes on. Wearing the proper helmet, gloves, pants, boots, and other safety gear can help prevent damage to your body if something were to go wrong. Before we go to the next point, I want to outline information on ATV and UTV Helmets.
ATV & UTV Helmet Certifications
There are 3 designations for helmets that include:
- This is the mst common helmet certification, and must be shown for a helmet to be legal. It must pass certain test given by the Department of Transportation
- The Ecnomic Commission for Europe developed in 1958 by the United Nations, and has been agreed upon as a standard by 47 countries
- I cnsider a helmet with the Snell Approval rating to be the best helmets available. They have to pass the most stringent test to get this stamp of approval.
Ride In A Group
With the expansion of trails in the US, comes the potential that you’ll be able to travel further away from civilization. It’s always a good practice to travel in a group to limit the possibility of getting stuck or hurt somewhere that people don’t often travel to. You may break down, run out of gas, or wreck, and having someone there to help you definitely makes a difference.
Know The Proper Riding Etiquette & Rules For Your Trails
You may not know it, but there’s typically a set of rules, or a proper etiquette that a lot of trails, or riding groups follow. It’s important to learn these rules to make the trails safer for you and others. For example, on the trails we ride, it’s important to hold up a hand, signaling the number of riders behind you. If there’s more than 5 you hold up 5 fingers, if there’s 4, you hold up 4, etc. By doing this, the riding group that your passing will know when the last person in your group passes.
Perform A Pre-Ride Inspection
It’s important to look over your ATV before going out and riding it. Doing an inspection before a ride is the only way to really ensure that your ATV is as safe as possible and ready to go. Forgoing an inspection is somewhat common, but you never know what happened to it in the time it sat. Did someone mess with something and forget to put it back? Did a mouse get inside of the ATV and chew on some wires? There’s a lot of questions you can answer for yourself. To find the proper pre-ride inspection sheet, you can take a look into your User Manual. Most Manufacturer include a checklist for you to go over before a ride.
Don’t Ride Under The Influence
I know that a lot of our customers might tell me that there’s no fun in this, but it’s the truth. Studies do show that driving intoxicated, whether in a car, ATV, or Side-by-Side, can affect the driver’s judgement and ability to make the right decisions. The last thing you want to do is hurt yourself, or another person, because of a bad choice you decided to make. The potential outcome is not worth the risk 10 times out of 10.
Riding ATV’s and Side-by-Side’s is becoming more and more popular with families and friends in our great nation. It’s an activity that can be safe, and fun, for all of us to do if we’re smart about it. Wear the proper gear, ride together, know the area's riding etiquette, check your ATV over, and just be SMART. You’ll have a great time and ride safe!
If you have any questions about riding an ATV or UTV, or questions about helmets or other gear, don't hesitate to call Brooks PowerSports. We're here to help!
Call us at 717-469-4640!