When it comes to hobbies, ATV (all-terrain vehicle) riding finds itself wedged between 2 extremes: fun and danger. Though flirting with danger is part of the fun, there’s nothing fun about an ATV accident. Luckily, a lot of risks associated with off-roading can be avoided by following a few basic rules for ATV safety.
1. If you’re not sure you can do it, don’t
When off-roading on an ATV, it can be tempting to push the limits. Once you tackle that first daunting obstacle, anything seems possible. But there’s a fine line between what your machine can handle and what it can’t. Don’t be the person with a bent wheel and a broken leg because you wanted to impress your buddies.
2. Bring maps (or apps) and water
It’s super easy to get lost when you’re riding off-road. Trails aren’t always marked and there might not be anyone around to give you directions. With that in mind, make sure you know the terrain you’re riding on by carrying a handy map.
If maps aren’t your thing, you can find a number of useful mobile apps to help you do everything from map your trail to view weather conditions — if you get reception on the trail, that is.
But in case you still get lost, be prepared with food and plenty of water — you never know if you’ll have to make an extended stay.
3. Be ready for a rollover
If you’re in a covered UTV (utility vehicle), the seat belts and roll-cage should protect your torso from injury. But it won’t do much good if your arms and legs are loose. Be prepared by always keeping your limbs inside the vehicle.
If you do lose control and start to roll, cross your arms over your chest and grab onto the straps of your safety belt.
4. Wear the right gear
Wearing the right protective gear can go a long way toward keeping you safe from harm. Before hitting the trails, make sure you have:
- A helmet certified by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and/or the Snell Memorial Foundation
- Over-the-ankle boots
- Long pants and a long-sleeved shirt
5. Get a reliable ATV insurance policy
Following these and other safe-riding practices can help you protect yourself on the trail. But to protect your ATV, you need specialized ATV insurance, which can offer property damage coverage and so much more.
Curious about what ATV coverage can do for you? Check out our page on ATV insurance basics.