Learn to Ride Off-Highway Vehicles Responsibly

It is a pleasure to welcome you to the great outdoors with service statewide! Before embarking on your adventure with a side by side, UTV, ATV, dirt bike, or any other off-road vehicle, ensure a safe journey by adhering to the pre-ride safety checks. Your well-being is our priority, and we wish you an exhilarating and secure ride.

Youth gearing up with helmet for an off-road highway vehicle ride in Arizona.

Prepare for Departure: Secure Helmets & Gear

For your safety and protection, note the importance of wearing proper gear: helmet, eye protection, gloves, boots, and long sleeves. Research indicates that wearing a helmet can significantly reduce the risk of brain trauma by 50%*. It is important to note that, as per legal requirements, riders under 18 must wear a properly fitted helmet. Eye protection ensures clear vision, gloves prevent blisters and injuries, boots add stability on uneven terrains, and long sleeves are a barrier against debris and scratches. Together, this gear forms a comprehensive shield, enhancing safety and enjoyment during OHV adventures.

*Arizona State Trauma Registry – “ATV Injury Prevention” presentation. Bureau of EMS and Trauma.
Arizona State Trauma Registry Bureau of EMS and Trauma

A couple driving an side-by-side wearing safety harnesses in Arizona.

Ensure Seat Belts and Harnesses Are Securely Fastened

Ensuring the safety of all occupants is of utmost importance when operating an Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV). Start by checking and securing the seat belt or harness if your OHV is equipped with one, and always ensure it is worn securely throughout the journey. This precaution not only contributes to your well-being but sets the foundation for responsible OHV usage, particularly when it comes to family outings. Providing proper instruction is a key responsibility of parents. That includes supervising children under 16 at all times. It’s also important to select an OHV that’s appropriate for the size of the child. Select an OHV specifically designed for children, adhering to both size and age recommendations. It’s imperative to avoid allowing children to ride OHVs intended for adults, strictly following the manufacturer’s minimum-age guidelines and ensuring that children ride with the correct safety equipment at all times. Your commitment to these safety measures ensures a secure and enjoyable OHV experience for everyone involved.

Remain on Roads and Trails and Respect Fellow Travelers

Be aware that operating under the influence and transporting passengers on single-person vehicles are strictly prohibited. It is essential to maintain heightened awareness on trails, carefully observe posted signs and regulations, and consistently adhere to designated paths to minimize conflicts with bikers, hikers, horseback riders, and fellow off-road vehicle drivers. Show consideration for the environment by refraining from activities that may disrupt it, such as excessively kicking up dirt or performing doughnuts, as these actions can harm natural habitats and disturb wildlife. Avoid using muddy roads whenever possible to prevent damaging the roadways. Also avoid driving off-road to avoid standing water. This causes the “braiding” of roads and leads to a significant amount of habitat damage. If it is too muddy, turn around. By collectively prioritizing safety, following regulations, and showing respect for fellow trail users and the environment, we can ensure a seamless and secure experience for everyone engaging in off-road activities. Let us unite in providing a smooth and safe ride for all.

Pre-Ride Prep: Enroll in Essential Classes

Brush up on your OHV knowledge and take an AZGFD-approved, online education course today.

Arizona OHV Safety course

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