Tips for Safe ATV Riding
With the warm months around the corner, we know you have plans to spend more and more time outside. One of our favorite outdoor activities is ATV riding. There are lots of ATV trails that you can use to add a little thrill to a free afternoon, or you can use your ATV to get some work done around your property or at your business. But like any powersports vehicle, you’ll want to make sure you’re being safe. The four-wheeled security you get from a quad can sometimes make it seem like you’re immune to hazards, but this isn’t the case.
You’ll still want to make safety your number one priority, as we do, so Centre Powersports has provided a list of tips to help you safely prepare for your next ATV outing.
One such piece of advice is making sure everything is in peak working condition, so for all your regular ATV maintenance and repairs, stop by our location in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, near St. Cloud, Alexandria, Willmar, and Minneapolis.
Invest in Your Equipment
When you take a spill in your ATV or you find yourself sprayed by debris, your first line of defense is the gear you wear, so make sure you aren’t shirking in any area. There are riding suits you can get for the ultimate level of protection, but at the very least you’ll want to be wearing long sleeves and pants made of durable material. Even on days when it’s sweltering, if you choose to hit the trails, you’ll want to cover up. You’ll also want to wear sturdy riding shoes, like boots (and never sandals) and it might be a good idea to wear gloves to keep from scuffing up your hands. Another good investment is eyewear, most likely in the form of goggles.
But arguably the most important piece of equipment is your helmet. Even a minor spill can cause a lot of damage to an exposed cranium and there’s virtually nothing else to protect it. So not only will you want to be wearing one, but you’ll want to be wearing a good one. Spend some time researching some of the best helmet brands and finding one that’s properly going to cover your whole head and preferably much of your face as well. You’ll probably have to drop a little more money, but better the extra $50 now than the massive medical bills you might face later.
Always Follow Best Practices
The best way to stay safe is to avoid dangerous situations altogether. Your best off always following best riding practices so you can have fun and still be safe. For example, never ride if you’re impaired by drugs or alcohol. People ignore this every year and it can lead to serious consequences. Keep in mind, recreational drug use should never mix with ATV riding, but there are also certain prescription drugs that make it unsafe to operate heavy machinery as well. Talk to your physician if you’re taking medication that might make four wheeling unsafe.
Also, while your phone can be handy in emergency situations, when you’re behind the controls and the quad is in motion, stow your phone. Anything that draws attention away from what’s directly around you can make you miss a sudden dip or an obstacle. If you want to take a picture or answer a call, stop the ATV first.
Know Your Limits
Part of following best practices is knowing when to take a break or call it quits altogether. This will be especially important if you’re on a trail that you’ve never been on before. Figure out how fast you can comfortably go and if you’re going to need a map. We always recommend erring on the side of caution, so if you’re a beginner rider, don’t let more experienced riders pressure you into trails or tricks you’re not comfortable with. Also decide how late you’ll go or under what weather conditions you may want to turn back. Trying to figure things out when your cold and wet and there’s no sunlight can increase stress levels and turn a fun outing into a miserable memory.
There are many other safety issues that we’re happy to talk to you about. We take our customers’ health very seriously, but we also want to make sure you have fun. After all, that’s why you hit the trails in the first place. So if your still looking for the right ATV, then stop by Centre Powersports in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. We proudly serve St. Cloud, Alexandria, Willmar, and Minneapolis.
ATVs can be hazardous to operate. For your safety, always wear a helmet, eye protection, and other protective clothing. Always remember that riding and alcohol / drugs don’t mix. Never ride on paved surfaces or public roads. Never carry passengers unless the model is specifically designed by the manufacturer to carry a passenger. Never engage in stunt driving. Avoid excessive speeds and be particularly careful on difficult terrain. Ride responsibly.