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Categorized | Outdoors

How to ride an ATV

OUT-ATV-safety-week

As summer kicks off in Michigan, national ATV Safety Week (June 6-14) is a good opportunity for the Department of Natural Resources to remind riders of important safety tips that can help ensure a more enjoyable off-road experience.

“ATV riding continues to grow in popularity in our state, and it’s important that riders observe safety at all times while on the trail and in the woods,” said DNR Law Enforcement Division Chief Gary Hagler. “These common-sense safety reminders can save lives and reduce accidents and injuries.”
Here are the DNR’s top 10 safety tips for ATV riding:

  • Always wear a U.S. Department of Transportation-approved helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots and gloves.
  • Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  • Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV specifically designed for two people.
  • Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.
  • Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
  • Take an off-road vehicle safety course or an online course. Visit the DNR website at michigan.gov/dnr and check for a course near you under the Education & Outreach menu.
  • Do a pre-ride check of your vehicle to make sure it is in proper working order. Pay close attention to the tires, making sure they aren’t low and don’t have leaks. Low tire pressure can cause handling issues for your ORV.
  • Know your trail. Study the map for where you are riding before you head out and become familiar with where the sharp curves are located.
  • Know where you’re riding. Before heading out, make sure you know whether or not the county you’re riding in allows ORV use on county roads. Do not mistake state forest roads for county roads. Contact the county sheriff’s department, road commission or county clerk’s office for information about each county’s ORV ordinances. The DNR also keeps updated ORV maps on its website at http://1.usa.gov/19tmpgi.

ORVs primarily are designed for off-road use. Driving on paved surfaces is hazardous because of handling issues. Riding on paved roads is a common cause of ORV-related fatalities.

For a complete overview of ORV rules and regulations in Michigan, go to the Michigan ORV Handbook online at http://www.offroad-ed.com/michigan/handbook/book.html. If, while out riding, you encounter someone violating land-use rules for ORVs, please contact the DNR’s Report All Poaching law enforcement line at 800-292-7800.

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