Helmets and Eye Protection Safety gear is a must for the ATV rider; the most important piece of safety equipment is the helmet. A rider should always wear a helmet that meets or exceeds safety standards. Purchase a helmet that is approved and marked by either the Department of Transportation (DOT), the American National Standards Institute, or the Snell Memorial Foundation. A helmet should fit snugly and always be securely fastened.
Riders should wear safety goggles to protect eyes when-ever a helmet is not equipped with an appropriate face shield. Sunglasses are not safety goggles and do not provide adequate eye protection.
A well-equipped ATV rider always wears proper clothing, including gloves, boots, long pants, and a long sleeved shirt. Gloves prevent fatigue from vibration, scratches from brush, and protection from cold weather. Off-road type gloves, which have padding over the knuckles, offer the most protection. Boots that rise above the ankles offer the most protection and support for ATV riders. Boots should have heels to prevent your feet from slipping off the footrests.
Cowboy boots are better than tennis shoes, but lace-up work boots or motorcycle racing boots are the best footwear. Long pants and long sleeved shirts prevent scratches from brush. Serious riders should wear off-road racing gear that has padded areas at the knees, elbows, and shoulders.
Once a rider has completed a pre-ride inspection and selected proper safety gear and clothing, there are some basic safety rules he or she should know and follow. These include keeping your feet on the footrests, riding single, and riding off-road only. Footrests are located just in front of the rear tires and putting a foot on the ground while riding could easily result in running over a foot or even pulling the rider from the machine. Because an ATV does not turn in the same manner as a motorcycle, a rider does not need to put a foot down while turning.