Driving an ATV may look easy but there’s definite precautions and things to know before you hit the road.
First off, most centers offer either ATVs to rent or the option of a Dune Buggy. Dune Buggies come with two seats already and children can fit in it too – just buckle up and hold on!
Dune Buggies sometimes have a front screen to prevent dirt hitting you in the face. Your back is covered by the cushion of the seats and the back build of the vehicle. Dune Buggies aren’t available to take on all the roads as they are wider.
ATV’s are completely open all around and you cannot fit two people unless it is specifically made to fit someone on the back end. They come in different sizes to best adjust someone. You cannot fit three people or someone will get hurt. They’re much smaller than Dune Buggies. You can ride one almost anywhere even if it’s a narrow road through the forest.
Now for what you need to know – and this applies to both vehicles!
Driving Capability and Feeling Comfortable
The better a driver you are, the easier and safer operating an ATV or Dune Buggy will be. Most come made semi-automatic. If you’re not a regular driver, you should test one out with the shop/instructor and see if you are comfortable driving it. Going with a tour guide is helpful in case there are any issues; you will not be alone or stuck somewhere. If you’re not comfortable being at the wheel, see if you can hop onto the back of someone else’s ATV so you can still come along without having to drive it yourself.
You will need to wear helmets and goggles to protect your face from dirt and flying rocks. Always buckle in. If you have long hair, pull it back so it does not distract you while driving. Use two hands when driving.
These vehicles can go up to speeds of 50-60mph and it might not even feel that fast! They’re very susceptible to tipping over so make sure you watch your speed, especially on turns. Don’t rush into an accident, enjoy the scenery and the time you’re having.
The least (but still) important is how you dress. Come in comfortable, loose clothing as you will come back with dirt and most likely mud all over you. Sneakers and closed-toe shoes are necessary. When driving over any spots of water in an ATV, the engine will get hot and you might get splashed with hot water. Wearing a back-pack or a round the waist bag will keep your belongings safe and out of the way.
Sitting in these vehicles will hurt your bon bons, and possibly your legs. Bring a beach towel or an old sheet you can layer on top of the seats for better comfort. Also, your hands may get very dry and cracked from the dirt. Bringing lotion or light gloves helps.
I usually go with a partner and take turns driving. It gets tiring to drive the vehicle since you’re usually on non-paved roads. Taking breaks will help re-energize you throughout your drive whether you’re going alone or with a tour.
Either vehicle is a great experience and a great way to see more of your destination. I prefer to sit in the back and hold on feeling the wind in my face and staring at everything we pass through. But then again, I can’t get the thrill of driving one on any other type of vehicle!
* Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
However, it strengthens the case for training
ATV operators on proper regulation of speed and expanding rider knowledge on operating in varied terrain. Supervise
riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.