Safety Bulletin
All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety
While generally considered recreational vehicles,
ATVs are growing more commonplace as work
vehicles by various industries. Whether riding ‘just
for fun’ or on the job, experience and attention to
risk management counts when riding an ATV.
Many unnecessary deaths and injuries occur when
an inexperienced driver loses control of an ATV, is
thrown from the unit, overturns the vehicle, or
collides with a fixed object or a motor vehicle. The
most common injuries associated with ATV
crashes are to the head, face and spine – skull
fractures, facial fractures, brain injuries, coma,
paralysis and spinal cord injuries. ATV drivers
with more than one year of operating experience
or those who have completed a safety course
have a much lower risk of injury and death than
relatively new drivers.
All new ATV riders, regardless of age, are strongly
encouraged to take a safety training course, which
are offered nationwide and often are free. If a
business provides ATVs for employee use, all
riders should receive training and/or guidance on
safe practices. Employers should also incorporate
these practices and polices into formal written
safety programs.
To enroll in the ATV Rider Course nearest you,
visit and click on “Online
Enrollment” or call 800.887.2887. Another
excellent free resource regarding tips for the ATV
Rider & ATV Off-Road Practice Guide can be
down loaded at the following web site:
sleeved shirt to protect against cuts and abrasions,
trees, brush and rocks should be worn.
The majority of ATVs are designed to carry only
one person. It is important that the driver be able
to shift his or her weight freely in all directions to
respond to the varying terrain or riding situation.
Passengers can make it difficult for drivers to
maneuver and control the ATV. In addition, most
ATVs are not equipped with handholds or foot
rests for passengers. ATVs should have a
warning label reminding the rider not to carry
passengers if designed for a single rider.
ATVs should not be driven on paved roads due to
the risks of being hit by motor vehicles. In addition,
ATVs are prone to rollovers on paved surfaces
due to their type of tires and design. For these
reasons, some states prohibit ATVs on public
roadways. ATVs should be used only during
daylight hours. Riding after dark is especially
dangerous because lights attached to an ATV
cannot provide enough direct illumination when
the vehicle is bouncing and turning.
Only tow a trailer if your ATV is designed and
equipped to do so. When using an ATV for towing,
use extreme caution, as braking capabilities,
turning and general handling are affected. Do not
allow any passengers in the trailer. Never overload
the ATV carrying racks to the point where your
vision is blocked and never use the rack as a tow
Other ATV Safety Tips or Best Practices include:
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is another
important aspect of ATV safety, with head
protection the most critical component. Select a
full-face motorcycle or other motorized sport
helmet that is certified by the US DOT and/or by
the Snell Memorial Foundation. Helmets should
have stickers on the inside or outside confirming
compliance with the standards. In addition, overthe-ankle non-skid boots with a defined heel, eye
protection or helmet face shield, long pants,
gloves, blaze orange or reflective vest, and a long© 2010, X.L. America Inc.
Read all ATV warnings, decals and
instructions in the Owner’s Manual
Always keep both hands on the
handlebars and both feet on the footrests
of your ATV during operation. Removing
even one hand or foot can reduce your
ability to control the ATV, or could cause
you to lose your balance and fall off.
Never use a 3-wheeler. They are unsafe,
and for that reason, are no longer
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Always maintain a safe distance between
your ATV and other ATV riders or
motorized vehicles. Tailgating can lead to
collisions and injuries.
Always ride at a safe and responsible
speed. Always look well ahead and
choose a speed that is proper for the
terrain, visibility, operating conditions, and
your experience. Know your abilities and
don't exceed those levels.
Do not attempt to ride backward down a
hill. Should you begin rolling backward, do
not apply the rear brake abruptly. Using
the rear brake only or abruptly could
cause the ATV to roll over backward.
Always check the terrain carefully before
you start down any hill. Choose a
downhill path as straight as possible, with
a minimum of obstacles. Shift your weight
to the rear and use a low gear.
Make sure your ATV mechanical
equipment (i.e., lights, tires, brakes, etc.)
is in top working order; always check your
machine before heading out.
For more
contact our topic
Name: Roger Nehring
Phone: (610) 968-9107
Never operate an ATV under the influence
of drugs or alcohol.
ATVs are a very useful means of
transportation and can help businesses and
their employees perform a variety of tasks.
Using common sense and these best
practices, businesses can manage the risks of
ATV use to keep work activity moving forward
and employees safe.
“XL Insurance” is the global brand used by XL Group plc’s
(NYSE: XL) insurance companies. Coverages underwritten by
Greenwich Insurance Company, Indian Harbor Insurance
Company, XL Insurance America, Inc., XL Specialty Insurance
Company and XL Insurance Company Limited—Canadian
Branch. Coverages not available in all jurisdictions.
The information contained herein is intended for informational
purposes only.
XL Insurance
505 Eagleview Blvd, Suite 100
PO Box 636
Exton, PA 19341-0636 USA
© 2010, X.L. America Inc.
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