Do your summer plans include hitting the trail with your quad this summer? Whether you’re a seasoned rider or new to the sport of off-road (ORV) or all-terrain vehicle (ATV) riding, here are five tips to help you avoid some life-threatening hazards.
1. Keep your distance if travelling near hydro facilities and always keep an eye out for utility pole guy wires. While they usually have a bright yellow plastic sleeve on them to increase visibility, sometimes this is damaged or removed, making the wires hard to spot until the last second. Riding at night increases the danger.
2. If travelling near a dam or river, stay on a designated trail and be aware of potentially slippery shorelines and fluctuating water levels. Use extreme caution if the ATV trail crosses a creek bed; don’t trust makeshift bridges and make sure you have a way back if the water level rises.
3. Ride with a buddy and let someone know where you are going. It’s never a good idea to ride alone – especially in a sport where accidents can and do happen. Running out of gas, getting lost or crashing is never fun but it’s worse and can be life threatening if you’re alone.
4. Obey any signs posted on property; they may be there to warn you of danger.
5. Ride on designated trails and ride where it’s legal. Not only is this for the safety of others and prevents unnecessary wear and tear to your machine, but it’s also being a good steward of the sport.
Enjoy our great outdoors but use care when riding – particularly in the vicinity of hydro facilities.
Prepared by Linda Carter, PHEc Public Safety & Education Coordinator, Manitoba Hydro.