Utility terrain vehicles (UTV) are popular and fun, but these vehicles can also be dangerous, with many people being injured after getting involved in tragic accidents. Experts say that the rules applying to motorcycles should also apply to UTVs to ensure safety for the drivers, passengers, and the environment surrounding the trails. Stay safe with the following safety tips:
1. Always wear the right gear
You cannot drive a utility terrain vehicle confidently without the right protective gear. A helmet and a pair of gloves protect your head and hands respectively. Motocross helmets with goggles are the best due to being lightweight and breathable. If you can’t find this type of helmet, a motorcycle helmet can work just as well, and will still protect you in case an accident happens.
It’s also important to wear boots that reach your ankles. Such boots protect your feet from branches and rocks that could otherwise cause injuries. In addition, wear long pants and long sleeves made from strong material to protect your skin from debris and flying dirt.
2. Maintain it well
Regular maintenance decreases the chances of a vehicle breakdown. Check your vehicle before leaving home, and repair any detectable damage. Check to see that there’s no fluid leakage, evaluate the tire pressure and fill up your fuel tank before you leave home. Clean your air filters regularly. Also, if you have an enclosed vehicle consider fixing chips and cracks in your glass.
3. Stay focused
Some trails can have rough terrain with unpredictable obstacles. That means that you’ve to stay sober when driving an off-road vehicle. Don’t take drugs or drink alcohol, as this exposes you to undue risks. Some health conditions and prescription drugs may also influence your focus when driving a UTV. Before taking any prescription medication, check with your doctor. Staying sober helps protect yourself and the passengers. Sober drivers stay in complete control of the vehicles.
4. Obey the rules
When you’ve got kids as your passengers, it’s important that you’re aware of road safety rules. Buckle up the kids with seat belts and ensure that each has a helmet. Avoid taking infants or very young children on a trail on a UTV. Some states have laws restricting the age of children who can ride in a UTV, so be aware of these. A teenager should also not drive a UTV without supervision.
5. Know your trails and pathways
Always follow a designated pathway or trail, as forging your own way may land you on a pathway with tight corners. Forging your own way through the underbrush not only exposes you to accident and rollover risks but also increases your chances of hitting unforeseen obstacles. You’ll also risk damaging the surrounding environment and injuring any wildlife that lives near the pathway. Designated paths are meant to guide you through easy routes with plenty of fun riding.
Safety should be the first factor to consider before getting into UTV driving. These tips provide you with practical advice on how to stay safe when driving your UTV, and how to keep it in good condition.