3 Safety Tips for Using Your ATV This Fall

Now that summer has officially cooled into fall, families are packing up their ATVs and going on exciting camping trips in forests and deserts. An ATV, or All-Terrain Vehicle, is a small vehicle that lets you travel on off-road trails. While it’s a fun hobby for adventurists and thrill-seekers, it can also be very dangerous if riders don’t follow best safety practices. In fact, nearly 100,000 people end up in emergency rooms each year due to ATV-related accidents. Of that number, hundreds pass away.

The Lexington ATV accident lawyers at Goeing, Goeing & McQuinn PLLC have compiled the following tips to help you stay safe this fall season.

Tip #1: Complete an Official Safety Course

While you don’t need a license for an ATV, you should still take an official hands-on safety training course before hitting the trails. These courses are designed to teach aspiring riders about the laws and regulations that govern ATV riders. Plus, the teachers can give you great advice about common off-road situations and accidents.    

Tip #2: Always Wear Protective Gear & Check Your Equipment

To be frank, an ATV isn’t designed with safety in mind. Much like a bicycle or motorcycle, an ATV lacks seatbelts, airbags, and other safety features that could potentially protect a rider in an accident. If you’re hit by another vehicle or flip your ATV in an accident, the only physical protection you have is the protective gear you happen to be wearing.

You should always wear the following equipment:

  • Helmet
  • Gloves
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Boots
  • Pants (a tough material)
  • Goggles

Before you head out on any adventure, it’s also important to inspect your vehicle before driving it. Your safety may depend on guaranteeing that your fuel, oil, and brake fluids are full. 

Tip #3: Drive Responsibly

When operating an ATV, your attention needs to be absolutely focused on the trail. And, unless there is an immediate emergency, you should never drive with another person on the back of your vehicle. Your friend could sustain serious injuries if they slip off due to the natural terrain of the trail. Your safest option is to put your friend on a different ATV and create a larger group of riders. When multiple people ride together, everyone’s awareness of the area increases. Each rider can locate different terrain hazards and notify the group, effectively preventing potential accidents. Plus, if there is a collision or a medical emergency, the group ensures that an injured rider isn’t alone.

No matter the type of vehicle you’re operating, drinking and driving is never acceptable. Alcohol severely impairs your judgement and increases your chances of inadvertently instigating an accident. ATVs aren’t safe vehicles to drive even when you’re sober, so don’t risk your life by imbibing before a trek.

Above all else, your ATV is designed for off-road use. This means that paved streets and trails aren’t necessarily the best landscape for your vehicle.  Your best option is to stick to trails legally designated for ATV use. After all, even “off-roading” needs to be taken seriously and with your personal safety in mind.

Injured in an ATV Accident? Schedule a Consultation

If you’ve been injured by a negligent ATV rider, contact the Lexington ATV accident attorneys at Goeing, Goeing & McQuinn PLLC. We can review the circumstances of your case, determine the negligent parties, and help you file a personal injury claim. Because multiple parties can be held liable for your accident, it’s important to seek experienced counsel before taking legal action.

Call Goeing, Goeing & McQuinn PLLC at (859) 534-9327 to schedule a free consultation
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