ATV riding is enjoyable. However, it can also be perilous. To make sure you have a memorable and fun time riding your Polaris ATV in Virginia — without worrying about any safety precautions — follow the 80/20 rule of ATV riding.
The safety tips for riding your Polaris ATV in Virginia can be boring or hard to understand, but Valley Cycle Center is here to help. We care about the next rider, so we are giving you this guide with simple safety tips on how to be safe while riding around town and on trails.
Follow the 80/20 Rule of ATV Riding
Follow the 80/20 Rule of ATV Riding. The 80/20 rule states that 80 percent of ATV accidents happen on 20 percent of trails. In other words, most accidents occur in places where riders don't expect them — like residential areas or paved roads — rather than places where there are obvious risks like steep hills or deep mud. Therefore, always make sure that you ride your ATV in permissible areas. Check your state's local laws if you are unsure.
Take a Riding Course
Before you put your Polaris ATV into drive for the first time, consider enrolling in a rider course. Many courses are available across Virginia, and even online will teach you how to properly operate your ATV and stay safe on the trails and off-road.
Wear Safety Gear
Riding an ATV can be dangerous even under the best conditions if you do not follow basic safety guidelines. It's essential to wear safety equipment so that you are always protected while you are riding. This should include a helmet, gloves, boots, and protective eyewear at a minimum — protective clothing is also highly recommended. Make sure that all safety equipment fits appropriately before heading out.
Securely Fasten Any Cargo
Securely fasten cargo to the back of the vehicle with bungee cords or rope - not with the seatbelt. Don't overload the ATV either because it could affect how the vehicle handles certain situations. This is especially true if you're going through mud or over hills with uneven surfaces.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When riding an ATV, you'll be navigating through the wilderness in a way that many people never experience. You'll be off the beaten path, seeing streams, hills, and wildlife up close. But don't let all that adventure distract you from being careful.
You're traveling through their home turf, so watching out for wildlife when on an ATV is essential. Keep an eye out for deer, bears, and other animals as you ride through the Virginia terrain. Be especially cautious at dawn and dusk when animals are most active. Make noise as you ride, so you don't surprise any animals around curves or in thick brush.
When riding through streams or along banks in Virginia, look out for loose dirt or rocks that could cause your vehicle to lose traction and slide into the water. If a trail looks unstable or dangerous, turn around and find another way.
Check your local weather reports before heading out. It's important to know what conditions you'll be facing on the trail that day. Even if you don't plan to ride far, it could be helpful to check forecasts for the entire day in case you get stranded out there.
Don't Haul Passengers
The first thing you should do is make sure that you're not hauling any passengers. Many people think that they can fit multiple people on it because they have a four-wheeler, and this is not true: most four-wheelers don't have backseats and aren't big enough for more than one person. If you intend on riding with multiple passengers, make sure that the ATV you purchase is able to accommodate that.
Riding Your Polaris ATV In Virginia Can Be Safe and Fun If You Take Common-Sense Precautions
Whether you're a longtime enthusiast or a new ATV owner, there are some basic safety protocols you should follow while riding in Virginia. It's important to remember that an ATV is not a motorcycle, and specific rules must be followed.
Safety should always be the top priority in your mind. Always wear proper safety gear—even if it's just for a short ride. Other general safety rules include no texting while driving, watching out for pedestrians, following the speed limit, and never riding under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you follow these crucial tips, you can have a fun and safe time on your Polaris ATV.
Contact Valley Cycle Center today with any questions!