15 ATV Security Tips

15 ATV Security Tips

All-terrain vehicles or ATVs are one of the leading causes of recreational sports-related deaths. So remember, safety first.

What is an ATV?

It’s a small, one- or two-seat, open-motor vehicle with three or more wheels designed for rough terrain. Examples of ATVs include quad bikes, recreational off-road vehicles, trail bikes and other motorized all-terrain vehicles.

There are two types of quads:

  • Four-wheelers (or quad bikes) are equipped with a straddle seat and handlebars.
  • Side-by-sides (or recreational off-road vehicle) are equipped with at least two bucket seats, a steering wheel, foot pedals and rollover protection.

As their name suggests, all four-wheelers are four-wheel drive, but not all side-by-sides are. The former weigh in at no more than 450 kg and the latter at 750 kg.

Trail bikes (or dirt bikes, enduro motorcycles and motocross bikes) are equipped with tires and suspension designed for off-roading. They are also lighter than street bikes.

Finally, there are three-wheelers, also equipped with a straddle seat and handlebars, and weighing in at under 600 kg.

Safe ATV Riding

Randonnée sécuritaire en VTT

1. Inspect your vehicle before every ride to make sure it’s in good running condition.

2. Make sure the headlight(s) work. You must keep them on at all times when riding.

3. Check the brake and marker lights.

4. Pack an emergency kit with:

  • Spark plugs
  • Speed belt
  • Fan belt
  • Spare key (keep it in a safe place)

5. Pack a survival kit for you and your passenger:

  • Trail maps
  • Compass
  • Tools
  • Water- and weatherproof matches and candles
  • Flashlight
  • Road flares
  • First aid kit and manual
  • Drinking water

6. Always check the weather report before leaving. You don’t want to ride during heavy winds or thunderstorms.

7. Ask about the trail conditions.

8. In winter, ask about ice conditions on local lakes and rivers. Never ride over water if the trail isn’t marked.

9. You and your passenger must wear:

  • A helmet
  • Shoes (flip flops are a no-no!)
  • Safety glasses when wearing a helmet that has no visor

10. Wear clothing for the weather conditions.

11. Tell your loved ones when and where you’ll be riding.

12. It’s always a good idea to go with a riding buddy—just keep a safe distance.

13. Respect all signs, especially when crossing public roads, and speed limits.

14. Never ride on private property—stick to marked trails.

15. Never ride while impaired, whether from alcohol, drugs or sleep-inducing medication.