If you are an ATV enthusiast, you know very well that your outdoor riding activity is not the safest way to have fun. Although zipping through muddy pools or sand dunes can give you countless memories to treasure, pushing your quad to the limit or taking safety precautions for granted can get you hurt. There’s nothing amusing about spending weeks or months inside the hospital just because you deliberately chose to neglect basic safety practices. Follow these safety tips if you want to ride your ATV for many years without breaking a bone.
Wear Protective Gear
If you have the money to buy an ATV, you definitely have the cash to spend on safety equipment. In case of an accident, your protective gear can be the only thing keeping you from serious injuries. If you like to ride fast and hard, you should be wearing the following:
- Sturdy MX Helmet
- ATV Boots
- ATV Gloves
- Body Armor
- Long Pants
- Long-sleeved Shirt
It can get seriously hot wearing all these protective gear, but it is better to take the heat than lose the teeth.
Take a Safety Course
If you have a driver’s license, you probably appreciate the value of taking a safety course. Investing a few hours of your time to educate yourself on the proper operation of a quad can pay huge dividends in terms of safety. Aside from correct vehicle handling, the course also teaches how to appropriately behave while riding, which makes the course essential for teenagers and young adults who think that going for an outdoor ride is just about fun and games.
Do Not Carry a Passenger
Most quads are designed to carry one rider at a time and there is a very good reason for it. Unlike riding an MX bike, ATV riders need to steer their weight to maintain control over the vehicle. With that in mind, a second rider on board can make the ride extremely dangerous. Furthermore, the combined weight of two individuals might be too much for the control the ATV. An overloaded quad is less stable and that means you are increasing your chances of tipping over the ATV.
Do Not Ride an ATV Under Influence
When you are driving under the influence of alcohol or other substances, you are putting yourself and other people in danger. If you do not drive a car under the influence, you definitely should do the same when going for an outdoor ATV ride.
Sure, the quiet and peaceful scenery of the woods might tempt you to drink a glass or two, but resist the urge because you will not be the same person as soon as alcohol or illicit drugs are inside your system. You will not be able to react in a timely manner, perceive and filter information efficiently or have the needed level of balance and control to operate the vehicle safely when you are buzzed. Going for an outdoor ride is supposed to give you awesome memories so keep it that way by resisting any temptation.
Never Attempt Silly Tricks
As an amateur ATV rider, zooming through sand dunes on a hot summer day or riding like the wind on rough terrain are acceptable ways of having fun with your quad. What is not acceptable is building a ramp that you will use to launch you and your ATV 10 feet into the air so you can post a video about it online. An amateur attempting tricks and stunts on four wheels is a recipe for disaster and pain. A few seconds of fame for countless hours of pain is not worth it.