How to Safely Ride an ATV

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All terrain vehicles, or ATVs, can be extremely entertaining. What better way to explore a large outdoor space than to get on one of these bad boys and go? However, ATVs can be dangerous for a variety of reasons. Read on to learn about how to safely ride an ATV.

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  1. 1.     Inspection: Before you hop on your ATV and begin riding, you must inspect your vehicle. This is a key step in ensuring your safety because you will most likely be able to notice any major issues with the ATV.  You must inspect the vehicle every time you ride it. Things you need to inspect include the wheels, controls like the brakes, lights, switches, oil and fuel. These inspections are especially important if you are just riding your ATV for the first time in a while.
  2. 2.     Protective Clothing: It really is not safe to ride an ATV in shorts and a tee shirt, or without a helmet. Protective clothing will help to keep you safe from scratches. Long sleeves and pants is the optimal outfit for riding an ATV. Over-the-ankle boots are also going to help to protect your feet and ankles. Do not wear flip-flops or sandals. Helmets are very important as well. In the case of an accident, a helmet can help prevent serious head injury. Open-face helmets are lighter than full-face helmets, but they provide less coverage. Make sure that you securely fasten the helmet so it does not fall off during your ride.
  3. 3.     Know the Vehicle: If this is your first time riding, you want to make sure that you are educated about all of the features of the particular ATV. Brakes may not always be located in the same place. Know what each peddle does so you don’t accidentally hit the accelerator when looking for the brake. Other controls, like the switch to turn on lights, are located at different locations depending on the ATV. Make sure you know where everything is before you begin your ride and you will be much better off.
  4. 4.     Riding: When riding an ATV, there are several things to keep in mind to help ensure that you are safe. For one, do not ride the vehicle in inclement weather conditions. Heavy storms can impair your vision, while snow can be unstable to ride on. You should also not ride the ATV if you are impaired from alcohol or drugs. The average ATV can go about 60 mph so it is dangerous to operate a vehicle that goes that fast when under the influence of anything. Additionally, ATVs can definitely flip over so you do not want to take a turn too quickly if you are not very experienced with the vehicle. A wide turn will help to keep the ATV planted on the ground. Just be smart. If a hill looks too steep for your vehicle, chances are you are probably right. Use good judgment and you will have a great riding experience.

 

Written by Carey Wooldrige, owner and operator of Yacht Club Powersports. Located in Osage Beach, MO, Yacht Club is one of the best SeaDoo Dealers in the state, and the largest volume dealer in the world. 

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