Riding an ATV has inherent dangers just as the use of all motor vehicles does. Although reported deaths related to ATV riding has been on the rise, so has the popularity of the sport. Statistically speaking, it is still a relatively safe activity. You can reduce your risk of injury if you follow the tips we discuss here.
First of all, we encourage everyone to get some training. An ATV looks fairly simple to operate, and it is, but there is more to it than just hopping on and cranking the throttle. It is important to understand how to negotiate the terrain and how to avoid trouble spots. Most ATV accidents where injuries occur involve rollovers and these are easily avoided with the right training. A four wheeler looks like it can handle just about anything, and it can if you are trained to operate it properly.
Secondly, it is incredibly important to wear the proper safety equipment. A helmet is a must. Just because an ATV has four wheels does not mean you can’t fall off and hit your head! Look for equipment that is properly certified for ATV use. Also don’t overlook the benefit of heavier clothing as well as gloves, elbow pads and knee pads. This will reduce your chances of serious injury quite dramatically.
Unless it is specifically designed to carry more than one rider, do not carry passengers! It might seem like fun, but it can significantly reduce your control over the vehicle. When riding you will need to shift your weight in order to maintain control and that is hard to do with a passenger. Of course, there is also the danger of the passenger falling off when you hit some particularly rough terrain.
ATVs are not designed for pavement and we highly recommend that you stay off of paved roads completely. It is not good for your tires and there is the added danger of collision with other vehicles.
This one may seem like a no brainer, but it is important to bring up. Don’t drink and drive! In fact, don’t ride while your judgement is impaired with any kind of substance. Even cold medicine can reduce your ability to ride effectively so make sure you are alert and awake while enjoying your ATV! Also avoid using your phone or any other hand held device while operating your ATV. No texting! Distracted riding is just as dangerous and drunk riding!