How to Be Safe on an All Terrain Vehicle

The use of ATVs as a recreational vehicle, as well as those used for work on farms and ranches, is increasing. Prior to using an ATV it is vital that the operator be well informed and properly trained. All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) can be really fun for off-road racing and riding around. But, precautions must be taken.


  1. Image titled Take an ATV safety course Step 1
    Take an ATV safety course. It is important to know your local and state laws before you begin to ride. A good course will not only cover state guidelines, but also review proper gear, tips for navigating hills and turns, and important life saving tips.
  2. Image titled Wear proper protective gear Step 2
    Wear proper protective gear. Always wear a properly fit helmet. The helmet should be snug and unable to move when the rider shakes their head. Chin harness must be secure, rider should feel pressure under their chin. The ATV safety institute recommends a long sleeve shirt, long pants, good gloves and boots that cover the ankle. Goggles are recommended; make sure they are free of scratches and fit securely around the head.
  3. Image titled Inspect your ATV before every ride Step 3
    Inspect your ATV before every ride. Check the brakes and brake lights. Inspect the throttle. It must return to position immediately when it is released. Measure the air pressure in the tires; refer to the manufactures recommended level. Check headlights, always ride on a full tank of gas. Inspect the chains and drive shaft. Chain should have proper slack and lubrication. Nuts and bolts may loosen with ATV use, check to make sure they are snug.
  4. Image titled Be alert for anything Step 4
    Be alert for anything your ATV can trip on. The places you will be riding generally won't be as well-kept as the roads, so be careful.
  5. Image titled Pay attention to weather Step 5
    Pay attention to weather conditions. Floods and rain cause poor traction, and in snow you may sink. Getting a strong headwind while riding fast could cause you to flip over.
  6. Image titled Never brake suddenly Step 6
    Avoid braking suddenly. The momentum could throw you forward and lead to possible injury.
  7. Image titled Use caution when going up Step 7
    Use caution when going up and down hills. When ascending, plant your feet firmly, keep a good grip on the handlebars and keep your weight toward the front of the ATV. When descending keep weight toward the rear of the ATV. Use your brakes gradually as you go down and look ahead at all times. Always maintain a safe speed; do not accelerate quickly. When traveling in a group, keep a safe distance between all riders especially on hills.
  8. Image titled Never carry a passenger Step 8
    No passengers should ride on a single ATV.
  9. Image titled Let someone know where you plan to ride Step 9
    Let someone know where you plan to ride and an estimated time for your return. Do not travel on public roads.
  10. Image titled Allow the engine to warm up Step 10
    Allow the engine to warm up before you begin. Release the parking brake and slowly apply the throttle. Test the brakes one more time while going a slow speed.
  11. Image titled Decrease your speed when turning Step 11
    When turning the ATV, decrease your speed and shift your body weight toward the inside of the turn. If your ATV begins to tip during a turn, lean your body further into your turn and gradually decrease speed.
  12. Image titled Always make turns as wide as possible Step 12
    Always make turns as wide as possible. A quick sharp turn can lead to an accident.
  13. Image titled Salta! 4631


  • Properly maintain your ATV. (see external links)
  • Do not operate an ATV while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Wear a helmet. A specialised ATV helmet can be bought, otherwise a motorbike helmet is good enough.
  • Four-wheeled ATVs have much better balance than three-wheeled ones.
  • Only start taking jumps when you feel comfortable. Start doing bigger and bigger jumps.
  • Get trained by an expert.
  • Do not ride tandem on a single passenger ATV.
  • Do not let a child operate an adult size ATV. Make sure your child is riding an ATV suitable for young children.


  • Do not grab on to vehicles, other people or stationary objects while moving.

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Categories: All Terrain Vehicles and Quads