3 Things To Do Before Renting Or Buying An ATV
Easy and fun to drive, ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) are increasing in their popularity for adventure seekers and infiltrating the youth sports scene. Approximately 25 million Americans ride ATVs, according to the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA).
An all-terrain vehicle is a four-wheel off-highway vehicle generally designed for one driver, although a Type II ATV provides enough straddle seating for an operator and passenger. There are many different ATVs, including youth models that are designed to accommodate children at different ages and are slower in speed than ATVs made for adults.
One of the best ways to try an ATV is to rent one before you make a decision to commit to buying. Here are some things you should do before renting or buying an ATV.
Attend an ATV Safety Class
You should take the free ATV online safety course offered by the ATV Safety Institute (ASI) before you rent an ATV. The ATV E-course teaches students to apply ASIs eight Golden Rules and other safety knowledge needed to minimize risk while operating an ATV. Games, videos and pictures help make the 2 – 2 1/2 hour safety course interactive and fun.
ATV Rider courses also are available and let the student drive an ATV to make sure he can handle the vehicle – also a great way to determine whether ATVing is right for you. To find an ATV Rider Course near you, visit www.atvsafety.org.
ASI’s Eight Golden Rules of ATV Safety
- Always wear DOT-compliant protective gear.
- Never ride on paved roads.
- Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
- Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV specifically designed for two people.
- Ride an ATV that’s right for your age.
- Supervise riders younger than 16.
- Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
- Take an ATV RiderCourse or the online e-course at www.atvsafety.org.
Rent or Buy ATV Protective Gear
No matter what age you are, safety gear should be considered a requirement of riding. Protective gear to minimize injury includes:
- riding gloves
- chest protector
- long pants/long sleeve shirt
Some gear can be bought used; however, make sure the equipment is not damaged so that you have maximum protection.
Buddy Up for ATV Safety!
Beginner ATVers should meet with an experienced operator and ask him to do a ride-along for the first few rides to learn the ins and outs of ATVing; beginners should never ride alone. And, experienced riders should always let someone know where they plan to ride and an approximate time of return from his ATV adventure. Remember, ATVs are powerful machines that should be respected and knowing how to be safe while driving your ATV will minimize your risk.
Not sure where to go with your ATV? RiderPlanet USA provides a complete listing of ATV trails which includes state and commercial ATV parks, national recreation areas, dunes and more.