Head protection is vital. At present a motorcycle helmet is recommended.
Wear clothing which is strong and covers your arms and legs.
Gloves are useful for protection and to keep hands warm in cold weather for good control of the ATV.
Wear wellingtons that are strong and have good grips.
Never carry a passenger on an ATV. The long seat is for operators to shift their body weight backwards and forwards for different slope conditions, not for carrying passengers.
You should not carry a passenger in a trailer behind an ATV, as any movement will make the machine unstable.
Off-road riding is hard on an ATV so it is essential to carry out maintenance according to the manufacturer's recommendations. Tyre pressures should be check daily as only a one-psi difference in pressure can cause vehicle control problems.
Check that the brakes give a safe straight stop and that the throttle operates smoothly in all steering positions.
6 Safe driving methods
When cornering, weight should be transferred to the inside of the turn. When riding across a slope, keep your weight on the uphill side of the ATV. When going downhill, slide your weight backwards and select a low gear, reducing the need to use the brakes.
When going uphill, move your weight forwards and maintain a steady speed.
Avoid sudden increases in speed, as this is a common cause of rearward overturning accidents, even from a standing start on flat ground where there is good grip.
7 Route Planning
Over rough terrain, get to know your own ground and stick to planned routes where possible. Walk new routes if necessary to check for hidden obstructions. When selecting routes, allow for changes to the surface and weather conditions and for any loads and attachments.
Ensure all riders know the manufacturer's recommended towing capacity and drawbar loading limit. Remember that your ability to control the ATV by your body movements will be considerably reduced when carrying a load or towing a trailer.
9 Using sprayers
You are more likely to be exposed to spray drift on an ATV than on a tractor, so a tractor should be used whenever possible.
Where an ATV is used, then attention to safety features is especially important when buying a sprayer and when spraying, particularly with mounted sprayers where the boom is close to you and contamination more likely.
When buying a sprayer, look for a low centre of gravity and internal baffles to reduce liquid surge which will improve stability when turning on slopes.
10 Road use
Manufacturers of certain ATVs may indicate that their ATVs are not suitable for use on the public roadway. You should therefore establish that your ATV is suitable for road use before taking it out onto the public road.
Should an ATV go onto a public roadway, it will be deemed to be a non-agricultural tractor and subject to road tax.
It will also have to comply with the structural requirements of a non-agricultural tractor, i.e. rollover protection, tractor mudguards, horn, braking and lighting requirements.