April 2010 Safety Tip


  • All ATVs don’t handle the same way. For example, most have separate front and rear brake controls, but others have linked brakes operated by a single control.
  • Learn the recommended stopping techniques for your machine.
  • Never operate an ATV or ride as a passenger without a high-quality motorcycle helmet, eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants, and a longsleeved shirt or jacket.
  • Gloves protect your hands from cold and injury. Off-highway-style gloves have padded knuckles to help prevent bruising.
  • Wear a pair of strong, over-the-ankle boots with low heels to help keep your feet from slipping off the footrests.
  • A long-sleeved shirt or jersey and long pants are minimum requirements for rider protection. Kneepads and chest/shoulder protectors are even better.
  • A face shield or goggles will protect you from flying debris and low-handing branches. They should be made of a hard-coated polycarbonate, and kept fastened securely.
  • Practice riding on a large, flat, open practice area, free of obstacles.
  • To keep your balance while riding, keep both hands on the handlebars and both feet on the footrests.
  • Have a plan before you ride. Make sure someone knows where you’re going to be riding and when you plan to be back.
  • Ride with at least one friend, and keep track of each other.
  • Know the laws that govern how and where you can ride. Dealers and ATV clubs are a good source of information about local laws.
  • Don’t try to blaze new trails or create shortcuts.
  • Stay out of designated wilderness areas. They are closed to all vehicles, even bicycles. Know where your boundaries are.