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ATV Safety: What to Know Before You Ride

a truck that is sitting on the side of a mountain

Taking an ATV out for enjoyment has many benefits, including enjoying the beauty of the outdoors and as an exhilarating form of exercise. Adrenaline Driven Adventures believes in the thrill and fulfillment of this great outdoor activity, but we also want everyone to be as safe as possible while we are out doing what we enjoy.
Do you know how to ride safely? What equipment should you never leave the house without? What about your mentality while you ride? Are there special weather considerations to take into account? In this article, we will go over some basic do’s and don’ts along with some other important considerations.

Age considerations: 
​Although some outdoor recreation is great for all ages, ATVs are a little different as no one under 16 should operate or ride as a passenger on an ATV. It requires a certain amount of strength and acuity to safely operate an ATV and children can struggle with this. Unfortunately, children under 16 account for roughly a quarter of ATV injuries every year. Let’s help keep our youngest adventurers safe by making sure they ride on the appropriate equipment.

Safety Equipment: 
The most important safety gear we can have, besides our common sense, is a helmet. Anyone under 18 must always wear a helmet, and that goes for riders of every age as well. You never outgrow head injuries so protect your most important assets by never forgetting to wear an approved, well-fitting helmet.

In addition to helmets, other protective gear and clothing are important as well. Is your footwear going to keep your feet and ankles protected? What about gloves and safety shades/sunglasses? There’s a wide variety of options so be sure to check out what type of protective equipment and clothing makes sense for you.

Last but far from least, make sure you carry a robust first aid kit that can handle the variety of injuries and ailments you might encounter. Check out our article here for a breakdown of first aid supplies and considerations.

Food & Water:
This may seem obvious but dehydration and heat stroke are some of the most common outdoor emergencies. It is recommended to consume three to four liters of water a day minimum but this varies for everyone. If you’re out on a hot day or exercising especially hard while you ride make sure you’re bringing enough to last the day and some extra for an emergency. It never hurts to have extra water.

Regarding food, make sure your selection is well-rounded. It will be difficult to sustain all-day energy if you don’t have well-rounded nutrition, so make sure you’ve got protein and carbs in addition to those energy drinks and candy bars.

Depending on where you ride, it can be difficult to assess the weather as the day progresses. In some areas, storms move exceptionally quickly, and on some trails ridges and mountains can block our ability to see weather changes. Always know what the forecast is for where you’ll be riding and prepare accordingly. It’s no fun to head home in the rain without warm clothing or a rain jacket and it can even be dangerous and lead to hypothermia.

The same caution, although different preparation, can be used for hot sunny days. What’s the predicted temperature high for the day? How much sunscreen and extra water should you bring? Don’t forget the sun hats and sunglasses!

Last but far from least, why not take a class or get a certification? There are a number of opportunities all over the country and learning from a professional is one of the best ways to increase your skill and knowledge in any area.

State Laws:
Always abide by the state laws where you ride, whether you’re traveling or at home.

Thank you for taking the time to read about ATV safety. We encourage all riders to have the most fun they can while also keeping themselves and those around them safe. Feel free to reach out to us and schedule a tour as that can be one of the best ways to get introduced to a new activity or area. Safe riding out there!

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