Sure it is fun to ride and ATV but as too many people have discovered–a fun ride can be deadly. There are some basic things you can do to keep the ride fun but also safe.
Whether you are interested in keeping yourself safe or someone you love safe take the time to be safe. There are three areas that will be covered here. The three topics discussed here will be equipment, training and attitude.
When it comes to gear there are the basics but to be even safer you should wear more then the basics. Starting with the helmet it should be DOT approved and also offer full face coverage. Then there is eye protection. You need to wear goggles that fit over your helmet inside the face area. These will protect you from flying debris, dust, bugs and what ever else gets kicked up while you are having fun.
You should also use a riding jersey that will help wick away moisture and protect against sunburn and any brush or branches you may encounter. Using a pair of elbow guards is also a beneficial item–just make sure they are comfortable and do not restrict your movement.
Also be sure to get a pair of off-road motorcycle gloves or ATV gloves to protect your hands from brush, flying debris or the unplanned exit from the ATV.
You should also use riding pants as they will also help protect you should you fall off the ATV or get slapped by some brush. Some may have hip and knee pads built in but if they do not you would be doing yourself a favor to include them in your bag of safety gear.
For your feet you need to protect them with motocross (MX) riding boots. It would be wise to get one size larger then you need so you can wear a thick pair of socks to help wick away moisture from your feet.
That covers the equipment now for training. There are training centers that you can visit and get hands on training but while that is probably the best approach for training it may not be feasible due to your location. If going to a training center is not an option there are several DVD training aids that you can get and watch or have the kids watch before they go ridding.
Spending time getting some training may seem boring but it could prevent unnecessary injury or even a death. Do not over look the importance of training in your quest to get out there and have fun.
Now for attitude – there are some basic things to consider here. When you go riding you should not let your attitude be effected by alcohol. There is no place for alcohol when riding ATVs or any vehicle.
The other attitudes that do not contribute to safety are thinks like thinking you own the trail or no one else is around, or I can do anything. These are just some of the attitudes that can lead to problems when ridding. You never know when someone else might be over the hill or around the corner. Being a dare devil is not always the smart way to go. Oh you might look cool but if you are injured it will not be so fun.
So before you go riding or send someone you love off to ride be sure they have the right equipment, training and attitude. Just having basic courtesy for others while you are out riding will go along way.