According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2020, ATV deaths totaled 366. Most of these incidents occurred where the victims were not wearing helmets.
Before operating an ATV, also known as an All-Terrain Vehicle, a walk around should be conducted. This allows you to familiarize yourself with the equipment. Look for any glaring mechanical or safety issues.
Any time before riding an ATV, check the tire pressure using your hand. Every month check the pressure using a tire pressure gauge to ensure proper PSI based on the manufacturer guidelines.
The next step is to check the oil level. First, remove the dipstick and wipe off the excess oil. Then reinsert the dipstick to the point where the threading begins. Then remove and read the current oil level. Follow service guidelines as outlined in the owner’s manual.
When operating an ATV, ensure the proper PPE is in place. This includes a DOT-compliant helmet, goggles, long pants, over the ankle boots, gloves, and a long-sleeved shirt.
Never ride an ATV on paved roads.
Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
Do not carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV.
Only ride an ATV that is correct for your age.
Ride only on designated trails.
Always maintain a safe speed and control of the ATV.
In 2020 the CPSC recorded a total of 24 deaths related to the operation of a UTV.
UTV stands for Utility Task Vehicle. Before operating a UTV, perform a walk-around to inspect the safety and mechanical workings of the machine.
Next, check the tire pressure using your hand every time before using the UTV. Use a tire pressure gauge to confirm the PSI once a month.
The next step is to check the oil. The bed is lifted to reach the engine with the oil dipstick. Remove the dipstick, wipe off the excess oil. Reinsert the dipstick and read the oil level.
Familiarize yourself with the controls of the vehicle and check the dashboard for indications of any mechanical issues.
When operating a UTV, make sure you are buckled in with the seat belt and latch the side doors if equipped.
It is crucial to always maintain a safe speed on all terrain. Be mindful of your vehicle when riding on hills and hauling heavy loads.
If traveling on rough terrain, the machine should be shifted into low. The differential can be engaged when there is a high probability for slippage but note the steering radius will be affected. When riding over rough terrain, it is vital to maintain a slow and safe speed and to turn smoothly to avoid an overturn.
Other essential safety guidelines for UTVs include:
Always keep legs and arms inside the vehicle.
Each passenger must ride in their own seat, do not haul passengers in the cargo area.
Passengers must be tall enough to reach handhold while their backs are against the seat and their feet are flat on the floorboards.
Operators must back up carefully. Look especially for children before backing.
Never operator a UTV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
When hauling materials in a UTV, pay special attention to properly securing the cargo for transportation.
For more information, please click here to watch a video about ATV and UTV safety.