In Canada, there were over 700 people killed in ATV accidents between 2013 and 2019, which is about 100 fatalities every year. While ATVs can be dangerous when you are riding them for the first time, following some basic safety tips can keep you safe and allow you to enjoy your time outdoors!
Do you want to learn more about riding an ATV for the first time and how you can improve your ATV riding safety?
Keep reading this guide for the top 7 ATV riding tips to follow for beginners.
1. Know the Safety Basics First
Before you begin to practice ATV riding, you must learn more about the safety basics. Educating yourself and learning more about how your ATV functions will help you avoid basic mistakes when riding your ATV.
First, you should read through your manual for your new ATV. This way, you can learn more about the different components of your ATV and you can learn how to operate your ATV properly.
You should also be sure that you have solid footing as you ride on your new ATVs. Most ATVs have large foot pegs that make it easier for you to plant your feet while you drive to maintain control.
Lastly, you should stay off the street when you drive your ATV. Although they can travel at high speeds, they are typically not meant to be driven on the pavement. There may even be legal regulations that restrict ATV use in your area.
2. Get Familiar With the Throttle on Your ATV
It is also important that you are familiar with the way your throttle works on your ATV. Different machines will accelerate differently, so you want to make sure you are comfortable with your ATV handling.
It is always best to start off slow when riding your ATV for the first time. This way, you will not get into an accident going at a high speed! Plus, the front of your ATV is much more likely to come off the ground if you give it too much gas too suddenly.
Once you have gained confidence with your ATV throttle, you can ease on the throttle to give your ATV more gas.
3. Always Wear Protection
Even the most experienced ATV riders should always wear protection. This is one of the best ways you can prevent serious injuries if you are in an ATV accident.
When you are creating an ATV gear checklist, there are some things that you should always include. You should always have a protective jacket, sturdy shoes or boots, a protective helmet, and gloves.
Helmets are perhaps the most important piece of safety gear that you can have and can prevent head injuries while you are riding your ATV.
4. Learn How to Shift
When you are first learning to ride your ATV, you need to learn how to shift your ATV. Many ATVs use manual shifting and will require you to shift with your foot while your hand controls the clutch on your ATV.
If you don’t learn how to shift properly, this may cause your ATV to stall as you are riding.
Practice makes perfect, so practicing your ATV shifting will make it easier to use when you are riding long distances.
5. Posture Matters
As you ride an ATV, posture matters. It keeps you in control of the vehicle and will help you stay balanced as you ride. Learning how to improve your posture can help you prevent injuries while riding your ATV as well.
Here is more information about how you can improve your posture on your ATV.
Work On Your Riding Position
First, you must work on your riding position. Because ATVs are much larger than other types of outdoor equipment, they can be more difficult to steer. Rather than turning the handlebars, you will need to put your weight into your ATV to steer it.
When distributing your weight as you ride, make sure you lean away from the curve. This will keep you from tipping over and getting thrown off your ATV.
Know When to Hover
Hovering when you are riding an ATV is essentially just standing up. This is often necessary when you are on a complicated trail and are unable to see very far in front of you. Standing up with your knees bent will allow you to see more clearly and avoid unnecessary obstacles.
Don’t Be Stiff
Lastly, you must stay loose. Because different types of terrain will have bumps and obstacles, you should avoid stiffening up. Staying loose will help you absorb the movement and can help you avoid accidents.
6. Get Nerf Bars
You should also invest in nerf bars if you are a new rider. These go where your feet are and are essentially giant foot pegs. This will provide you with extra stability as you ride and will give you more control over the ATV.
7. Give Yourself Time
As a beginner, you need to give yourself time to learn! When it comes to riding an ATV, practice makes perfect. Learning how to ride properly will take time.
You can improve your riding form by taking practice rides. You should do this in many different conditions as well. For example, riding ATVs at night will be greatly different than riding them during the day.
Practicing all of your skills and giving yourself plenty of time to learn will help you be confident when you ride your ATV.
Finally, there are a few bonus tips that can keep you safe as you ride your ATV.
First, you should always be sure that your brakes and lights are working properly. This is especially important if you are riding at night and will help you improve your visibility.
You should also only drive at low speeds when you are first learning your ATV controls. This will keep you from getting into accidents and will also protect your ATV!
Finally, you need to learn how to park and how to safely get on and off of your ATV. Using your safety brake will help you avoid unnecessary injuries.
The Takeaway: Improve Your Safety With These ATV Riding Tips Today
As a beginner, it is essential that you practice ATV riding to stay safe and avoid accidents. Following each of these ATV riding safety tips will help you avoid accidents and stay safe on your ATV.
If you want to learn more about ATV riding techniques and other ATV riding tips, Muskoka Powersports can help! We can help you find the right ATV and UVT products for your needs.
Contact us today to learn more about our ATV products or start browsing for your new ATV!