If you own an all-terrain vehicle, chances are you're well into one of your most active times of the year. The warm-weather months offer your best opportunities to enjoy your rig.
Fun as it is, however, your favorite outdoor activity can be risky. We are, after all, talking about high speeds and heavy machinery. The nonprofit ATV Safety Institute has designated this week, June 6-14, as ATV Safety Week. It's a good chance to take a time out and review some common-sense safety advice from the institute and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
According to the commission, 92 percent of ATV-related fatalities are due to warned-against behaviors. Here are six ways to dramatically help reduce risk for you, your family and your friends.
In addition to safety off the road, it's worth thinking about safety as you're getting your machine to your ride area. The two keys to safe ATV towing are keeping it tied down and keeping it level. You'll want multiple crisscrossed straps to keep your rig in place, and you should check it periodically while you're traveling to make sure vibration hasn't loosened them. As for leveling, balance is critical. You'll want a slight bit of the load on the tow vehicle tongue to prevent swaying. On most trailers, the balance point is near the axle.
Finally, be sure you have the insurance coverage you need for your ATV. Many states require ATV insurance for vehicles operated on state-owned land.
ATV insurance options are similar to those available for motorcycle users, so think about such coverages as liability and uninsured/underinsured motorist, as well as comprehensive, collision and medical payments. And, look for ways to customize your insurance coverage with options such as safety apparel replacement and roadside assistance.
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