ROHVA offers safe off-road riding tips for holiday weekend

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This holiday weekend, thousands of ATV, UTV and side-by-side vehicle enthusiasts will explore trails, deserts and public lands across the country, and ROHVA is calling on all drivers to be safe and responsible while having fun.

“Over the next three days, thousands of enthusiasts will be enjoying their freedom to explore our country’s dunes and trails behind the wheel of an ROV,” said Paul Vitrano, executive vice president of the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association. “With that freedom comes responsibility, to drive safely and take the best possible care of family, friends and the land itself. From vital safety tips to ways to preserve the environment, you can find out what you need to know by visiting us online at www.rohva.org.”

A recent study of ROV crashes revealed at least one behavior warned against in operator manuals was present in 98 percent of crashes. These "warned-against" behaviors include doing stunts, riding at excessive speeds, riding on paved roads, using alcohol or drugs while driving, improper seating of passengers, failing to wear a helmet and failing to wear a seat belt.

The study also found that 23 percent of crashes involved drivers under the recommended age. ROHVA recommends that anyone under the age of 16 or without a driver’s license should not operate an ROV.

The Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association urges ROV enthusiasts to follow the ROV Safety Rules to ensure the safety of drivers, passengers and everyone else.

  1. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear, use the seat belts, and keep all parts of your body inside the ROV.
  2. Never drive on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law. ROVs are designed to be operated off-highway.
  3. Drive only in designated areas, at a safe speed, and use care when turning and crossing slopes.
  4. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
  5. Never drive an ROV unless you’re 16 or older or have a driver’s license. ROVs are not toys.
  6. Never carry more passengers than the ROV is designed for, and never allow a passenger who is too small to sit in a passenger seat to ride in the ROV.
  7. Read and follow the operator’s manual and warning labels.

Sometimes referred to as side-by-sides or utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), ROVs are motorized off-road vehicles designed to travel on four or more non-highway tires, with a steering wheel, non-straddle seating, seat belts, an occupant-protective structure, and engine displacement up to 1,000cc. Current models are designed with seats for a driver and one or more passengers..

Courtesy Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association