Rider Safety Series Follow Up : UTV Powersports
In our first of the Rider Safety Series: Powersports, we touched on safety tips primarily focused on ATVs, for the ATV Safety Week June 3rd through 12th. We’re circling back now that warmer weather and UTV season is upon us, to focus on safety precautions that will not only help keep your UTV in tact, but also potentially yourself and others.
Power Sports of America has some basic safety tips that we are going to cover for riding any UTV:
- WEAR THE RIGHT GEAR: The first thing you can do to ensure your safety when you head out in a side by side is equip yourself with the right gear. Make sure you’ve got an appropriate helmet in good condition (No half Helmets!), long sleeve shirt and pants, sturdy boots, and a good set of goggles. Of all of these, your Helmet needs the most attention. Make sure you have a helmet that protects your face from impacts, because a sudden dive can send your face into the dash in a heartbeat. Branches and other trail hazards have no problem jumping straight
through the ROPS and smacking you in the face, so protecting your eyes is also critical, and can prevent a disaster. When choosing goggles, a comfortable fit should be your first priority, with strong anti-fog capabilities being a close second. Make sure that the clothes you choose for riding would also be appropriate for hiking, because if your UTV quits on you, that’s exactly what you’ll be doing.
- DRIVE SOBER: There are books of statistics on how driving under the influence increases risk of death and injury, and reams of data showing that your likelihood of injuring yourself and others while driving intoxicated is sky high. We’re not going to beat you over the head with this information, just be smart and ride sober.
- “KEEP YOUR HANDS AND FEET INSIDE THE VEHICLE until we’ve come to a complete stop”: It may be fun to throw your hands up in the air as you barrel over a hill, or feel the air flowing over your hand as you cruise down the trail, but it’s not a great idea. The large lugs on UTV tires are likely to send a rock flying into your arm in the best case scenario, at worst you can get your arm stuck in the middle a pushing contest between a tree and your ROPS, and in that contest no one wins, and you lose. If you have to grab onto something UTVS come with handles just for that, so use them.
- PICK THE RIGHT UTV: If you’re heading out to ride in the woods using a side by side that’s equipped for the dunes, you’re going to have a bad trip. Likewise, bringing a sport side by side with paddle tires to ride on a trail is going to be an unwieldy driving experience. Make sure you know the capabilities of your UTV, and the equipment you outfit it with. Whether you’re in the woods, on the road, or tearing up the dunes, make sure you’re wearing the proper gear, that you keep to well known trails and have decked out your UTV with the equipment you need to keep you safe, and keep your hands and feet tucked in, you’ll have a blast no matter where you ride.
OTR would like to expand on the above by making sure you do routine check-ups on any vehicle you own to make sure they are in their best shape to perform. Make sure you have the right tires for what you want to use your UTV for, whether it be racing, mudding, or rough terrain, make sure your tires can get you there with any of these products:
Superior for mud performance
Superb traction and wear characteristics on various terrain.
Exceptional performance on a variety of trail surface types.
Great for firm or soft ground, snow and mud.