Off-road vehicles are popular for trail adventures and can also serve as a way to transport goods on unpaved roads. If you are in the market for an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) or utility task vehicle (UTV), you need to learn how to protect yourself properly while driving or sitting in the passenger seat. The following guide provides you with essential safety tips for operating ATVs and UTVs.
Wear A DOT-approved Helmet and Protect Your Body
Most ATVs are single-seat vehicles while UTVs have a side-by-side seating arrangement for two people and may come with hard tops and windshields. However, you should wear a helmet when operating either type of off-road vehicle.
Make sure that the helmet you purchase has a Department of Transportation-approved sticker. Some states require that riders wear DOT-approved helmets for ATVs.
In addition to a helmet, you need heavy-duty attire to keep you safe. Purchase your gear from shops that specialize in attire for motor sports, such as Allied Powersports. When you ride you should always wear boots that protect your ankles, gloves, long pants, a long-sleeve shirt and goggles. When it is warm outside, avoid the urge to hop onto your vehicle in shorts and open-toe shoes.
Take a Safety Class
While ATVs and UTVs are smaller than standard road vehicles, you should still be a trained, savvy driver in order to help prevent accidents. You should take a safety class to help you learn how to operate your off-road vehicle safely and avoid common hazards.
Your state's department of transportation may offer low-cost safety classes. In addition, young drivers may be required to complete a safety certification class before driving off-road vehicles. In addition, make sure to learn your state rules for off-road vehicles before you operate your ATV or UTV for the first time.
Use Your Common Sense
Many accidents can be prevented if drivers just exercised common sense when operating an off-road vehicle. Follow these rules:
UTVs have seat belts. Use them.
Do not let kids drive your ATV or UTV. It is not a toy but a heavy, powerful vehicle. The only exception should be older teenagers who have passed a safety course.
Do not carry extra passengers. Single-seat ATVs and side-by-side UTVs are not made for extra passengers. It may seem like a fun idea for your friends to pile on for a joyride but you put everyone's safety at risk with this practice.
Avoid driving in poor weather. Off-road vehicles do not protect you from rain and wind that can hamper your visibility.
If you follow the tips above, you will have fun driving your off-road vehicle safely and responsibly.