While 4-wheelers and warm weather go together like fun and smiles, operators should always be on their guard—especially young ones.
We’ve culled some important guidelines for you, whether this season finds you on an ATV for the first time or heading out for regular work.
Top Safety Tips:
- Always wear a helmet and other protective gear. Your helmet should be DOT-compliant. Protective gear should include goggles, long sleeves and pants, over-the-ankle boots and gloves.
- Only ride in designated areas at a safe speed.
- Stay off public roads. ATVs are designed for off-road use only. Their off-road tires can have unpredictable interactions with public roads, both paved and unpaved. ATVs also have a narrow track, high center of gravity, and usually a solid axle or locked rear differential which makes loss of control and rollover more likely on roadways. And look both ways before you cross a public road.
- Never allow children younger than 16 to ride an adult ATV. Always ride an ATV designed for your age, and ALWAYS supervise young riders.
- Don't allow more people on the ATV than it was designed to carry. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV and no more than one passenger on a machine designed for two people.
- Take hands-on training before riding. ATV safety courses are offered through the your state and the ATV Safety Institute (atvsafety.org)
- Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
State ATV Laws and Requirements
Each state has its own ATV laws, including both safety and equipment requirements. Check to see what the laws and requirements are in your state. If you’re taking your ATV on vacation, make sure you know the rules before you hitch up the trailer to head out for fun.