Operating An ATV Safely
While you ATV can be a lot of fun, it is a high powered and heavy piece of machinery. And like all such, an ATV can be dangerous if you are not careful. ATV accidents cause thousands of injuries and sometimes deaths every year. Due to their nature and the kinds of terrain you will negotiate in an ATV, it is not hard to see how an ATV could be dangerous. Here are some general safety tips you should follow to help keep you and your family safe while enjoying the fun of riding an ATV.
Take an ATV safety class. These are usually fairly short and inexpensive. Everyone in the
household who will be riding should attend a safety class as well. Try to get in a class that will actually go out on the trails for some hands-on experience.
There is no substitute for experience. When you are first learning to ride your ATV, you should ALWAYS be riding with a more experienced rider. And that doesn’t mean your older brother who started 3 days before you, either. Go riding with someone who has been doing it for some time, and knows how to handle the different terrains you may be crossing. The best way to learn how to navigate a tricky area is to be able to watch someone else who can do it first, and whocan explain what they are doing and why.
No matter how experienced a rider you may become, you will take some falls. Wear clothing
that will protect you when it happens. Always wear a helmet, and goggles or other eye
protection as well, especially if you are going to be going through mud. You will be amazed at how much actually makes it to your face! You should wear pants and a jacket that are thick and durable. You will be whipping through underbrush at relatively high speeds, so protecting yourself from cuts and abrasions is a must. Many injuries each year could have been avoided if the rider had just been wearing sensible clothing, a helmet, and protective eye wear.
Don’t start off with the biggest, most powerful ATV you can buy for your first. ATVs can be hard to handle, especially in the difficult terrain where you need to be able to handle it the best. A larger ATV is far more difficult to control than a smaller one. Start with a smaller ATV, and only once you are very comfortable riding that one should you think about getting a bigger ATV.
And last, but not least, use your common sense. Don’t try to tackle a climb you honestly don’t think you can handle yet. Don’t drive recklessly or while drinking. If you are riding at night, take it easier than you would during the day.
If you follow these simple, common-sense guidelines, you should be able to enjoy many years of fun, safe, and injury-free riding