A helmet is the single most important piece of protective equipment when riding an ATV. There are many different options when it comes to selecting a helmet for riding ATVs.
Full-face helmets offer the most protection, guarding the face and the head. Open-faced helmets are lighter to wear, but should always be worn with a chin guard to protect the chin and mouth. Both types of helmets should fit snugly and be securely fastened when riding the ATV.
Eye protection is very important when riding ATVs. Getting hit with an object like a branch, rock, or bug while driving can cause severe injury and possible blindness.
Wearing a helmet with a face shield or riding goggles will protect your eyes while riding ATVs. If you choose to wear goggles, be sure they are well-ventilated, securely fastened and free from scratches to prevent distraction.
Driving ATVs for extended periods of time can make your hands sore and tired. Wear gloves that offer protection and comfort while driving. Gloves help protect your hands from abrasions when riding or during an accident.
It is important to wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants when riding to prevent cuts and scrapes on the body. Exposed skin can be severely damaged if hit with branches or rocks.
Operating an ATV is only successful if you control the vehicle at all times. Riders should be able to start and stop the ATV as quickly as possible to avoid accidents.
It is important to wear shoes that prevent your feet from slipping off the footrests when riding. Boots that lace up and are at least above the ankle for support are encouraged.
An ATV is a piece of equipment, and should be checked and maintained frequently to ensure peak operational function. Inspecting the ATV before each use will minimize the risk of injury. The following parts should be checked before operating your ATV:
• Tires: Always maintain the recommended tire pressure in each tire. Use a low pressure gauge to check the pressure; most automobile tire gauges do not accurately measure low pressure in ATV tires.
• Throttle: Check the throttle operation while moving the handlebars fully to the left and right.
• Brakes: Brakes can prevent an ATV accident in a matter of seconds. They are one of the most important parts on an ATV and should be kept in prime condition.
• Lights: When riding at night or on roads, lights are needed to alert others that you are on an ATV. Make sure all lights are properly connected and all bulbs are working before riding.
• Fuel and oil: Running out of oil or fuel when riding ATVs is a hassle. Before riding, check to make sure you have enough oil and fuel to last for the duration of your trip and check that you do not have fuel or oil leaks.
• Drivetrain and chassis: Riding on rough terrain will loosen chassis parts. Check each part to ensure all are tightly secured, including handlebars, and footrests, and adjust with fasteners with a wrench if necessary.