By following a few basic rules of thumb, ATV/UTV users can make their outdoors experience safer and more enjoyable.
Clothing: It’s always wise to wear the proper attire when riding your ATV or UTV. But what is proper attire?
There are always branches, briars, sticks and obstructions along the trail that could cause injury, especially if you are riding in the dark.
The rule of thumb is to cover as much of your body as possible.
Even in the summertime, your clothing list should include long pants and long-sleeved shirts to protect your arms and legs from things that could poke or grab you as you ride.
A thick pair of gloves will protect your hands, especially when riding a 4-wheeler, as you travel through the thick stuff.
A good pair of ankle-high or taller boots is important for protecting your feet and legs from low-lying obstructions. I opt for knee-high boots.
Head and eye protection are absolute musts. Invest in certified helmets with quality safety goggles. I prefer helmets with a built-in eye shield.
If you wear glasses like I do, never consider them to be safety goggles. I still use my goggles or my helmet’s eye shield over my glasses. This protects the sides of my eyes, as well as and prevents damage to my expensive glasses. The protective safety eyewear keeps my glasses clean, and I can still use my glasses to see.
Firearm Safety: Gun safety while riding ATVs is paramount, and using gun cases should be your rule of thumb.
During a pre-boarding safety routine, always check and double check to make sure your firearms are completely unloaded. In many states it is illegal to have rounds in the magazine.
Make sure no one is standing on the opposite side of the vehicle or in front of the muzzle as you slide your firearms inside gun cases, or when removing them. That’s when many hunting accidents occur.
Secure your firearms inside a hard or soft case. I highly recommend a hard case that mounts to the ATV to ensure your sighted-in scopes don’t get bumped off in transit.
I am very pleased with new safety feature improvements in modern recreational vehicle design, such as Yamaha’s latest side-by-side UTVs.
One of the features is a foot plate separator, which keeps a passenger’s feet from colliding with the driver’s feet should a sudden bump be encountered.
Other improvements include better hand holds, well designed guards on the sides, high quality safety belts and ergonomically correct head rests.
Editor’s Note: For more about safety features on Yamaha vehicles, visit here.
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