Since its introduction to the public in the 1970's, those who ride All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) have had to deal with a number of issues regarding their behavior. Some of these issues deal with safety, while others deal with rider's behavior towards sharing trails and those whose land they trespass on.
Many drivers irresponsibly disregard laws that prohibit the use of ATVs in
certain areas. Because of this, hundreds of trails have been designated as safe
and legal places for ATV riders to use. As with all forms of vehicular travel,
there are a number of rules, both implied and legislated, which have been
developed to ensure the safety of those who drive ATVs.
Regardless of why someone is using a trail, it is important to remember that
all trail users are responsible for watching and listening for others. This
should result in those who use trails actively looking and listening for
others, as opposed to merely reacting when someone or something comes their
way. This approach will go a long way towards preventing the accidents and
misunderstandings that can take place on the trails.
It is generally accepted that traveling on the right side of the trail
removes indecision about the proper side on which to pass. If you need to pass
on the left for one reason or another, always ask for and get permission before
you do so. Make sure that you are able to slow down significantly and use
caution at all curves and junctions.
While riding an ATV is not the time that
you want to experience a surprise! Surprises are never safe - regardless of
what type of vehicle you happen to be riding!
If you should encounter a horse while you are riding your ATV, always yield
to the horse and rider.
Go out of your way to make sure that the horse has seen
and heard you. In addition, you will want to give the horse adequate room to
pass you on the trail. Remember that motorized recreation vehicles, such as
ATVs, can usually be heard coming, and the horse rider may be well out of the
way. If not, be courteous, and shut off your motor.
Then allow the rider to get
a safe distance beyond you before you start it back up again. If you happen to
notice that a horse is becoming edgy, nervous, or agitated, always turn off
your engine. Then ask the rider what you can do to make the situation better
for him and the horse.
Unfortunately, the great majority of responsible riders have had their
reputation negatively affected by those who do not follow the rules of the
trails and who do not take the necessary time to be courteous. Simple courtesy
and respect for others and their property will discourage riders of ATVs from
riding on non-designated trails, or from using other's private land
without permission. This type of responsible thinking will also prevent
riders from driving their ATV under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A number
of accidents happen each year because of this unfortunate behavior.
you are planning riding your ATV on a trail designed for ATV use, keep in mind
that there is always a good chance that you may encounter someone who is using
the trail for a purpose other than the driving of ATVs. In these situations, it
is best to give others the respect that you desire from them. Be active in your
effort to hear and see other who is on your trails. When you do encounter them,