UTV riding can bring you to places you could never otherwise get to. Along the way, you can experience challenging routes, unimaginably beautiful scenery, and the thrill of a lifetime.
Is there anything that’s both as practical and as fun as a UTV? We think not.
Whether you’re new to off-road vehicles or an old pro, it’s important to know what you should and shouldn’t do when riding your UTV.
Let’s take a look at the dos and don’ts of UTV riding.
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UTV Riding Dos
First, let’s take a look at what you definitely should do when riding your UTV.
DO Wear Proper Safety Gear
Safety is the absolute most important thing when you are driving off-road vehicles. You definitely need to be wearing eye protection and a helmet. On top of that, it’s a good idea to wear boots that go over the ankle, gloves, and longsleeves.
DO Consider Your Tire Pressure
When you are driving a UTV, tire pressure is absolutely vital to safety. Your UTV will have a specified range of air pressure for optimal safety and handling.
If you are riding through mud or sand your pressure should be a bit lower and if you’re riding over rocks it should be a bit higher. That being said, you always want to stay within the recommended range.
DO Keep Your Arms and Legs Inside the Vehicle At All Times
Most UTVs have handholds to help you keep your arms inside the vehicle while you’re driving. If you’re in a UTV and it feels like it’s about to tip over, it’s essential that you don’t try to break the fall with either your arms or your legs. This is a surefire way to get an injury.
Your UTV is built with a cage and safety restraints that are designed for situations just like this one. Let them do the work and keep yourself from being injured.
DO Use Your Suspension Settings
The suspension is adjustable for a reason. Changing the settings can completely change the way it fields to drive your UTV and can save you a ton of money rather than making expensive improvements. Don’t forget to use those grease fittings to let your suspension move freely.
DO Follow Trail Etiquette
Learning trail etiquette is important for your safety and also just a decent thing to do. When driving, you should go slow near campgrounds, stay to the right, stay on marked trails, avoid speeding into blind corners, and more.
Letting oncoming drivers know how many people are in your group can also be a polite and useful thing to do. Learn about what’s expected on the trail and be sure to have all the stickers, paperwork, exhaust and flags you need to ride where you’re riding.
DO Ride With a Group
It’s probably safe to ride alone if you’re in a heavily trafficked spot, but it’s always best to ride with a group. Wherever you’re going, be sure to take at least one other person with you. This is particularly true if you are heading out to a super remote location.
DO Stay On Designated Trails
When you’re riding your UTV, it can be tempting to blaze a new trail off the established one. It’s important to resist this urge, however, as off-roading where you’re not allowed to could result in the entire area being closed off to riders.
UTV Riding Don’ts
Now it’s time to do some scolding. Here’s what you absolutely should not do when riding your UTV.
DON’T Drive Under the Influence
This should go without saying, but it’s so important that it’s worth repeating as many times as necessary. You should never drive any kind of vehicle if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is just as important to be sober when driving off-road vehicles as it is when driving on the highway.
Your reaction time and judgment can be severely impaired by drugs or alcohol. You risk causing harm or injury to yourself or other full by riding your UTV while under the influence of mind-altering substances.
DON’T Ride on Public Roads
Your UTV is designed for off-roading, not on-roading. Riding on pavement can negatively affect the handling and the low pressure tires are not designed to be ridden on paved roads.
DONT Let Your Kids Ride Unsupervised
Even if a teenager is legally old enough to be riding your UTV, you definitely do not want them to do so without adult supervision. Many of the UTV and ATV accidents that occur in the US could have been prevented with adult supervision. Consider have a properly sized vehicle for your kid or teenager, there are some youth UTVs on the market.
DON’T Do Donuts
The shape of a UTV means that doing donuts is a big no-no. With active long-travel suspension and a tall silhouette, you’re asking to get tipped over right away.
DON’T Buy Tires Just For Their Looks
Souping up your UTV with tires that look cool but are anything but practical isn’t a great idea. You always want to stick within the recommended guidelines for your vehicle. If you don’t, you could diminish the usefulness of other features of your UTV and even compromise the safety of the vehicle.
You can lose some basic performance capabilities and the steering might get heavy if you go out of the bounds of your UTV safety guidelines. Are you looking to upgrade your tires? Check out our article on how to pick the best tires for your UTV.
Are You in the Market For a New UTV?
Picking out the perfect UTV can be a real challenge. There are so many incredible vehicles out there that it can be hard to choose. To help you out, we’ve created this handy guide comparing sport UTVs so you don’t have to.