All-terrain vehicles or ATVs are a fun and exhilarating addition to any long weekend or trip to the cottage in the summer. Since they are usually not viewed in the same manner as road vehicles; people can overlook the safety issues associated with a weekend of fun. Here we have a few simple tips on ways to keep you and your friends safe while still having plenty of fun.
- First and foremost, you should always be riding an ATV suited to your size and ability. As relatively small machines they can still cause quite a bit of damage if you lose control. For this reason, you should always make sure you and your loved ones are able to control your ride. Giving your 10-year-old a 250cc engine to ride might seem like fun to him, but really it’s far too big and potentially dangerous.
- Similar to number one, before riding an ATV make sure you know how it works. Much like each model of car has slightly different controls so does each ATV. Take the time to learn the controls before you head out on the trail, and it could save your life when faced with an emergency situation.
- Do a safety check. Since there is often an extended period of time between rides it is highly advisable to take a tour of your ATV before setting off. Check the tires, gas level and body for any damage that may interfere with your ride. Before you head out, run the engine a bit, and make sure everything is in tip-top shape.
- Wear protection. It doesn’t always look stylish, but it’s better than ending up in a bad accident. Make sure you understand the safety precautions before you head out. If you are not wearing a helmet, the chance of suffering from a head-injury when an accident occurs increases dramatically! Wear a helmet, gloves, glasses, and boots – the whole works. Protect that pretty face of yours!
- Ride with friends and follow the trails. In the unfortunate event that something does happen to you while riding it is better to have a buddy or two around to help you out. To avoid getting in trouble try to follow designated trails, you’ll be more likely to find navigable terrain, free from unexpected troubles. If you are a minor, make sure you are riding under adult supervision. Make sure someone is always there to help, in case anything goes wrong.
- Finally, you should always ride safely. This means no using of substances before riding and no showing off. Cottages and long weekends are almost always synonymous with alcohol, but just as you wouldn’t get behind the wheel of a car after drinking, you should also stay off of ATVs. Same goes for unnecessary stunts, you won’t look so cool if you end up in the hospital or on crutches for weeks. Make sure prior to riding an ATV that you are able to handle the power, and if you don’t feel confident, find an alternative.
These tips may seem obvious, but far too many people get injured every year by not following them. Safety on an ATV should be a top priority, but even with all the precautions accidents can still happen. This is why having proper insurance is just as important as playing it safe. Contact Lambton Mutual to see how they can save you money on your ATV insurance this season.
Note: ATV’s fall under the ‘Off Road Vehicles Act’ and must, by law, be insured under an Automobile Policy.