ATV’s and UTV’s can be very dangerous vehicles to operate and do not under estimate how easily accidents can occur. They can used as recreation or work vehicles and proper training is very important before operating them.
Below are potential hazards and possible solutions to operating an ATV or UTV:
- Transporting too many people above the manufacturer’s recommendation is very dangerous. Always follow the recommended personnel capacity limits. Always use seatbelts if the vehicle provides for them.
- A lack of operator training is a major cause of injuries and fatalities when operating an ATV/UTV. Always ensure that the operator has taken a vehicle specific ATV/UTV Training program.
- Try to avoid operating these vehicles while working alone and always ensure that the vehicle has up to date service records. If you need to work alone when operating this type of vehicle, ensure that there is a vehicle monitoring device, you have a two way radio or phone to reach others, or have a check-in time requirement with your co-workers.
- Fatigue is a common problem when operating these vehicles and you must take frequent rest breaks if traveling long distances.
- If you need to operate these vehicles in all weather situations, always try to prepare for any situation. Use tire chains or tracks for traction in snowy or icy conditions, use a cover to protect vehicles from rain, snow, sun exposures, in cold weather wear layers of clothing with fire retardant being the outside layer, in hot weather, prevent heat stress by packing water and ice in a cooler, take frequent breaks to cool down and rehydrate.
- For best protection always wear a DOT approved helmet, eye protection, safety toed shoes or boots and always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for personal protective equipment. Always ensure your passengers are as fully equiped as you are.