safety essentials atv riders gator sportsSafety must always come first.

There’s no excuse that can be made. Southwest Florida is one of the most popular spots to ride ATVs. A naturally beautiful landscape, long winding trails, and a sunny disposition makes this area the go-to spot for enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Florida is also one of the top 10 states where ATV-related deaths occur most in the United States.

Don’t be another statistic. ATV’s are heavy, powerful vehicles that can cause significant injury and even death. No matter how experienced you are, accidents can happen. It’s essential that riders use the right equipment to ensure their safety, as well as the safety of others.

Safety Ahead

Helmets can make the difference between a life-changing injury.

Florida law requires all ATV riders under the age of 16 to wear helmet and eye protection while riding or operating an ATV. This doesn’t mean that once you’re 17 you should forego your helmet. Your head is the most vulnerable part of your body and the most susceptible to a potentially life-ending injury in the instance of an accident. Wearing a DOT approved helmet can reduce your risk of injury by 42 percent.

That sounds worth the “inconvenience” of wearing a helmet.

While you’re at it, protect your eyes from dirt, dust, and debris with DOT approved goggles. These goggles protect your eyes while also staying clear so you can always see where you’re going.

Dress Up, Not Down

Heavy pants and long-sleeved shirts may not be conducive to the heat of southwest Florida, but it’s better to be safe than sorry! Long layers are imperative to staying safe while your ride your ATV. Even more than the obvious protection in the instance of a crash, long sleeves keep your arms and legs safe from foliage when you’re whipping through nature. Protect yourself from the natural environment while you enjoy the sights and sounds of southwest Florida.

Steer with both hands gloved. Gloves protect your hands and fingers, preventing scrapes, burns, and even broken bones. Specially made ATV gloves are always made with your safety in mind. Thanks to thick leather or canvas material, you can rest assured that your palms and fingers will stay protected. Not to mention, traction on the palm of your gloves will give you a firm grip while you steer.

Don’t forget your feet, too! Investing in ATV-specific boots or alternative, durable footwear will protect delicate ankles and feet, in the event of a crash. The right boots will keep your ankles and legs straight and sturdy while you ride. Specialty ATV boots in particular are made with shock absorption in mind, providing extra support and protection for your feet.

Remember to always stay safe, southwest Florida!