Riding Off-Road, Staying On-Track For Safety – June 2015
Observed annually in June, National Safety Month focuses attention on reducing the leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road and in our homes and communities. Join us, along with the National Safety Council and thousands of organizations across the country, as we work to raise awareness of what it takes to stay safe.
For farmers and ranchers today, an off-road side-by-side utility vehicle, such as the RANGER from Wyoming Farm Bureau Member Benefits partner Polaris, is the Swiss Army knife of vehicles; you find yourself using it everywhere. And there’s nothing that families look forward to more than off- roading for recreation with ATVs like the Polaris Sportsman. Whether you’re leaving the blacktop behind for family fun and adventure, or to meet the day-to-day needs of your operation, the number one goal of every ride should be to make sure you can do it again tomorrow. That’s what makes off-road vehicle safety such an essential topic.
For ATV riders, it’s important to know your skill level and not exceed your capabilities – that means taking the appropriate training from SVIA (ATVsafety.org) and actively practicing the maneuvers you’ve learned until you can perform them consistently. Every rider needs to remember that ATVs are not designed for wheelies, jumps, or stunts. And don’t forget: one machine, one rider. Never carry a passenger unless the vehicle is designed for tandem riding.
Operating a side-by-side carries the additional responsibility of ensuring the safety of any passengers. Be a responsible driver by operating to the abilities of your passenger, instead of your own, reducing the chance of accident and injury. And while your side-by-side is a tireless workhorse, remember that carrying tall, unbalanced, or unsecured loads can increase the chances of vehicle instability and loss of control. Also, be aware of the towing, payload and box capacity of your vehicle and don’t exceed them. All of this safety information and more can be found at ROHVA.org.
Whether you’re riding a side-by-side or ATV, it’s essential to utilize all recommended safety equipment– that includes eye protection, a DOT-approved helmet, over-the-ankle boots, gloves, long sleeves and pants. Also, make sure all factory-installed safety features, such as seatbelts and side nets on side-by- sides, are in good operating condition and utilize them every time you ride.
When it comes to safety, there is nothing the manufacturer can do that will make up for what the rider won’t. The most important piece of safety equipment you have is right between your ears. The more you know, the safer you can ride.
Polaris is committed to the safety of their customers and riders. They have created a series of videos that cover the things their customers can do to make every ride as safe as possible. While each presentation is specific to a Polaris model, much of the material presented is good advice for any off- roader. It’s easy to find out more; vehicle-specific safety videos are available online at http://www.polaris.com/en-us/safety.
Wyoming Farm Bureau members get $300 per unit off all Polaris utility, sport and GEM electric vehicles. A $200 incentive is available for Polaris ACE and Sportsman all-terrain vehicles. These membership incentives are NOT valid for youth vehicles and cannot be combined with any other Polaris coupon offer. Current sales event pricing and finance offers do apply. Polaris and your Farm Bureau are working together to make your off-road experience both safe and economical.