Riding an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) can be an exhilarating experience and a great way to pass a Tennessee afternoon. Now that spring is near, you may be eyeing the one parked in your garage and counting down the days until it’s time to ride.
Too many riders do not have a grasp on the power of their machines, which can lead to collisions and serious injuries. Here are some common mistakes new riders need to avoid:
Using highways or streets
ATVs are very adaptable on a wide variety of surfaces. They can tackle mud, sand and hills with ease. However, some riders insist on taking these off-road vehicles onto highways. This is a surefire way to create issues, not to mention it’s illegal in Tennessee to ride on any road except to cross.
Because ATVs don’t have turn signals (and some models may not even include brake lights), it’s unsafe to ride around cars. Many drivers may be unable to see you on the lower vehicle and even if you think the shoulder of a road is wide enough, it’s not worth the risk. Keep your ATV off roads.
Underestimating your machine
Some people think an ATV is like riding a lawnmower and aren’t expecting the horsepower that comes with these machines. When a new rider first drives an ATV, they may lose control of the machine or force it to buck into the air.
These machines can get up to high speeds very fast, and it’s important that all riders are mindful of that fact.
Ignoring safety equipment
These vehicles can reach cruising speeds that top out at over 40 miles an hour. Typically, you aren’t going to be protected by much more than the safety equipment you are wearing. That’s why the right gear is so important.
A good helmet, goggles, gloves and the right foot protection are bare minimum essentials when you’re on an ATV. Don’t downplay the importance of investing in the appropriate clothing. If you ever need it, you’ll be glad you did.
Fighting for your right to ride
Whether you’re a veteran ATV rider or just starting out, these mistakes are easily avoidable. However, as an ATV rider, you’re not only at risk from your own mistakes but those of other drivers.
If you’re in an accident with another ATV or a car, a skilled attorney can help guide you through the claims process and help sort out the situation.