6 ATV Safety Tips to Know Before You Ride

While riding an ATV can be a thrilling experience, it can also be a dangerous one — especially if you’re not properly educated beforehand. In fact, according to the most recent report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, around 100,000 ATV riders are injured each year. Before you hit the trails or a course, check out these ATV safety tips.

1. Take an ATV safety course

You can sign up for a hands-on ATV training course. In it, you’ll learn how to control your machine in a wide variety of situations. And, you’ll be safer for it. ATV drivers who’ve taken hands-on ATV safety courses have a lower risk of injuries than those who haven’t taken a course.

2. Get your ATV gear on

Grab a helmet. ATV accidents often cause head injuries. Wearing a helmet can reduce the severity of injuries. But, don’t just grab any helmet. Make sure yours is certified by the U.S. Department of Transportation and/or the Snell Memorial Foundation.

The need for gear doesn’t stop there. Make sure you’re wearing boots, goggles, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. That’ll help you avoid road rash if you take a tumble.

3. Say no to passengers

Most ATVs are designed for only one person. Having a rider makes it difficult for the driver to control the ATV, especially when terrain varies and speed is involved. Stay safe by riding alone.

4. Stay on the course or trail

Many deaths involving ATVs each year occur on paved roads. There’s a reason: ATVs are made for trails and courses, so they can be difficult to handle on paved roads. Don’t drive your ATV on paved roads.

5. Keep kids safe

More than 9 out of 10 ATV-related accidents involving children occur because the ATV is too powerful. If you want your child to ride an ATV, make sure you have the proper, age-appropriate machine for them.

6. Don’t drink and drive

Driving an ATV requires your full attention. Alcohol and drugs impair your reaction time and judgment..

For more information on ATV safety, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s ATV Safety Information Center.