Get trained. Formal training is recommended and available. Don’t know where to look? Try Google. Sorry, there’s no excuse.
Wear the gear. Helmets save lives and prevent lifelong injuries. In a large percentage of head-injury deaths, the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet. A UTV may look car-like, but a skid lid is still required.
Use safety belts. You want to be inside the roll cage if things go wrong.
Keep the kids away. Young people are drawn to ATVs. Although riding may look like harmless fun, things can turn deadly very quickly.
Always drive sober. Though it might seem like a good idea in the moment, combining alcohol and off-roading is deadly. And if you crash and the cops show up, you’ll get to enjoy the same legal treatment—including the criminal record—as if you were operating a road vehicle under the influence.
Avoid adding passengers unless the machine was designed for it. On a single-rider machine, the extra weight increases instability. And when things go wrong, extra passengers can’t hang on like a driver can.
Remember that ATVs and UTVs are not cars. Plus, you aren’t driving on a smooth, flat highway. So, size up the terrain, stay in your comfort zone, and when in doubt about traversing uneven terrain, don’t.
More than 40 years ago, in 1976, James Lawrence pasted together the first edition of Harrowsmith magazine on his kitchen table in rural Ontario. Totally unique, it was the first Canadian magazine to focus on organic living, alternative energy sources, and a country lifestyle. Lawrence’s ode to back-to- the-land virtues quickly attracted legions of fans and soon became Canada’s bible for rural living.