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Do you have a UTV or an ATV problem? By Joe Kosch

Common sense and doctors agree; things that can be enjoyable and healthy in the right amounts can be harmful if you overdo it. If exercise or shopping can become addictive, I thought something really fun like UTVing or ATVing could be a problem if you don’t know how to control it. To help, I’ve prepared this simple test to identify signs that your enthusiasm for UTVing or ATVing may be getting out of hand.

1. Are you hiding your UTVing or ATVing? If you are going for UTV or ATV rides when you said you were going to a school play or a wedding, you may have a UTV or an ATV problem, especially if you’re supposed to be in the play, or the bride or groom.  Friends or family members probably suspect something when they see you leave many hours early for these events with a truck or trailer loaded with your machine. Do you have a second or third ATV or UTV at a friend’s house that your wife doesn’t know about? That’s not cool. You know she’d like to ride or drive those machines, too!

2. Do you go UTVing or ATVing to relax or feel better? Do you find nothing relieves the stress of a tough work week like a good ride on some fun trails with friends? Do you think about going riding when you’re at a boring movie or in an anxiety-producing situation, like sitting in the dentist’s chair waiting for the dentist to come in? 

3. Do you find it hard to stop UTVing or ATVing when you start? Are you one of those drivers who can’t resist exploring new trails, even when you’re nearly out of gas, or some of your friends are already back at camp loading up? Do you find yourself always using all the extra gas you bring along and then asking friends for gas?

4. Does UTVing or ATVing put you in dangerous situations or cause you to seek out dangerous situations? Did you realize that your UTV or ATV took you up and over a steep, rocky trail you could never have reached or climbed on foot? Has a UTV or ATV allowed you to jump farther and higher than you ever imagined possible? Does your UTV or ATV enable you to reach high speeds on rough terrain, yet you have a feeling of complete safety?

5. Do you find you need a UTV or ATV to climb giant sand dunes, cross deep mud bogs or conquer other obstacles in your life?

6. Do you neglect responsibilities to go UTVing or ATVing? Have you blown off mowing the lawn or washing the car to go to the dunes or trail riding with your family or friends?

7. Do you tend to hang out with others who enjoy or encourage UTVing or ATVing? Do you get together with people you may not even know just to ride UTVs or ATVs? Do you enjoy games or competitions that involve UTVs or ATVs?

8. Do you experience withdrawal when you can’t ride UTVs or ATVs? When you don’t get to ride, do you become irritable, depressed, anxious or nauseous? This is a sign your body may be craving strong acceleration, precise cornering, the sensation of sliding sideways, or the fresh air and natural outdoor scenery that UTVing provides. 

If you answered yes to any of the questions on my test, your urge for UTVing, ATVing or both is excessive and possibly out of control, but that’s okay. Unlike many forms of addiction, UTV and/or ATV addiction isn’t serious or harmful; it might even keep you away from things that are.