The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the ATV Safety Institute and various ATV manufacturers all recommend that new ATV owners invest in a hands-on safety training class before they take to the hills in their new ride. The off-road environment holds many challenges for new drivers and a simple one-day, 3-4 hour course can substantially improve driver safety. Just think of it as drivers' ed for ATVs.
ATV safety courses cover basic vehicle safety and driving skills, typically at multiple stations on a closed, outdoor track (though the AVT Safety Institute does offer an online class, consisting of Web-based videos and quizzes).
Safety programs are widely available in most areas. They're offered by the ATV Safety Institute, local ATV rider groups and various departments at the state level. The National 4-H Council also sponsors ATV safety seminars for children and teens. Depending on the program, you might have to provide your own vehicle.
You can typically expect to pay between $50 and $150 for an ATV safety class. Prices vary depending on availability and driver age, but you might not have to pay anything at all. ATV manufacturers and distributors who are members of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America (SVIA) offer free training, as well as rebates and other incentives to buyers who complete the ATV Safety Institute training course.
Explore the links below to learn even more about all-terrain vehicles.
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- ATV Safety.Gov. (Nov. 10, 2009)http://www.atvsafety.gov/index.html
- ATV Safety Institute. (Nov. 10, 2009)http://www.atvsafety.org/asi.cfm
- Norton, F.T. "Man strikes wires, is killed on ATV while driving at night." June 9, 2006. (Nov. 10, 2009)http://www.tahoebonanza.com/article/20060609/Nevada/106090022
- Yeates, Ed. "Woman impaled in freak accident shares her story." KSL.com. July 22, 2008. (Nov. 10, 2009)http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=148&sid=3832691