No matter what your experience level is, riders should always wear ATV safety equipment before turning on the ignition. All it takes is one mistake—made by you or someone else—to turn a good time into a tragic accident. Ride smart by ensuring your gear includes the protective equipment listed below:
Florida law requires all ATV riders under 16 years of age to wear helmet and eye protection while riding or operating an ATV on public land, but that doesn’t mean you should stop wearing one after you “come of age.” Your head is the most vulnerable part of your body. Many ATV riders who experienced accidents while not wearing a helmet have suffered from long-term injuries, if they were lucky enough to survive at all. Reduce your risk of injury by 42 percent by wearing a DOT approved helmet.
All-terrain vehicles are made for difficult or untamed terrain. Mud, rocks and other debris are inevitable. DOT approved goggles were made to protect your eyes from injury and give you clear vision on muddy or dusty terrains. It is important to note that Florida state law requires any riders under 16 years of age to wear both goggles and a helmet when riding or operating an ATV.
Most of your body’s vital organs are housed within your upper torso. Hardened body armor such as a chest protector will help protect you from debris and provide additional protection against puncture wounds and crushed bones should you fall, have a collision, or suffer a roll in which the ATV lands on top of you. A chest protector cannot prevent all injuries, but it can mean the difference between a bruised body and an emergency response vehicle delivering you to the nearest hospital.
Long Sleeve Shirts and Pants
We get it. Florida is sweltering, but you’ll be thankful for the cover of long sleeves and pants when you’re whipping through stray brush at ten miles per hour. There are ATV outfits you can buy that are made from resilient materials that protect against scrapes, abrasions, and nature’s natural elements.
Gloves work two-fold for ATV operators. They protect your hands from getting sore or callused while navigating the vehicle and also defend you from potential scrapes and lacerations. There are special riding gloves made specifically for ATV riding, but you can also substitute them with gloves made of leather or another thick and sturdy material.
Special ATV boots feature a hard exterior designed to serve multiple functions. The armored plating absorbs shock and protects your feet and ankles in the instance of a crash or fall. They are also designed to protect your skin from heat given off by the vehicle’s engine, which can cause burns if you don’t wear appropriate protective gear.
Every one of these pieces of equipment matter, so remember to always ride safe, and have fun!