ATV Safety in the Field

From recreational riding to planting food plots to scouting and utility use in the hunting woods, All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) play a significant role in the outdoor world. With nearly 4.5 million ATVs in this country and more than 500,000 miles of legal backcountry roads, machine safety is important.

These powerful machines have appealed to hunters for years because of their size and versatility, which can help in many situations afield. Part of owning an ATV, however, means understanding safety tips.

Before you plan to hit the trails this year take into consideration the following ATV riding tips provided by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council.

Riding Up Hills

  • Climbing hills improperly could cause loss of control or cause the ATV to overturn. The key to being a good hill rider is to keep your weight uphill at all times. Never ride past the limit of your visibility; if you cannot see what is on or over the crest of a hill, slow down until you have a clear view.
  • Some hills may be too steep for your abilities. Use common sense. Don't ride beyond your skill level. Climbing hills improperly could cause loss of control or an accident.

Reading Terrain

  • To get the most out of your ride, you have to know the land you are riding on and what your machine can do. Carefully choose the places you ride. Use existing trails. Stay away from terrain where you do not belong, such as dangerous slopes and impassable swamps.
  • Watch carefully for sharp bumps, holes, ruts or obstacles. Always look well ahead and choose a speed that is proper for the terrain, visibility, operating conditions and your experience. By scanning far enough down the trail, you will be able to pick the safest paths of travel.

For more information, or to enroll in an ATV rider course near you, call (800) 887-2887 or visit the ATV Satefy Institute website

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