An All-Terrain Vehicle, most commonly referred to as an ATV, provides thrill and exhilaration for many Southern California riders year round. Desert environments across the state are popular places for ATV riding.
These vehicles may provide excitement and fun for the many who ride them, but they also pose major safety risks. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2011 alone 327 reported deaths occurred as a result of ATV riding.
Below are a few safety tips to keep in mind before you ride an ATV:
- Your helmet is a crucially important piece of your ATV safety equipment. Be sure to check and see that the helmet you wear contains certified labels from the Department of Transportation (DOT), and/or the Snell Memorial Foundation.
- Quality protective clothing helps to prevent scratches, bumps, and bruises. Investing in well-made sport-specific clothing such as long sleeves, long pants, gloves, and off-roading boots that rise over the ankle will serve you well.
- Wear a quality pair of goggles that provide ventilation. When driving an ATV, dust, leaves, and branches are more likely to hit you and brush against you. Your sight needs to be clear so that you have time to react should you need to.
- If you are riding a single-rider ATV, don’t try to share it with another passenger. In the same token, if you are riding a two-passenger ATV, don’t try to fit more people on the vehicle than it was made for.
- Conduct a pre-ride check. Are your tires at the recommended pressure? If your tires are over or under inflated, it could pose a safety risk. Also be sure to check that your gas tank is filled before riding, and that your oil is at the optimal level.
- Always drive at safe speeds, and make sure you are always lucid and sober before hopping on any vehicle. Alcohol is often the culprit of many ATV accidents.
Owen, Patterson and Owen has been helping accident victims for more than 37 years. You can read more about ATV and Off-Road Vehicle accidents and contact us at 1-800-676-5295 for a free consultation. You can contact us online.