CommunityHealth Fix


Tips for safer off-road vehicle (ORV) riding

Posted at 5:56 PM, Apr 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-27 19:56:02-04

As the weather gets warmer, more people are participating in outdoor sports and activities, including going outside to ride off-road vehicles (ORV). Although this is a common pastime, ORVs can be dangerous if proper safety measures aren’t followed.

Tips for ORV safety

  • Always wear protective gear, including a helmet, goggles, long-sleeve shirt, gloves, pants, and boots that sit above the ankle
  • Anyone operating an ORV should be certified (certification is mandatory by law)
  • Be a responsible ORV rider: Always be aware of your surroundings and other riders
  • Don’t push beyond your skill level
  • Never ride on paved roads
  • Supervise riders younger than 16

Why helmet safety is so important

Crashes on off-road vehicles do happen and the severity of the injuries from a crash is hard to predict. Helmets that are specifically built for motorcycle use include an outer shell, an impact-absorbing liner, comfort padding, and a sturdy chin strap. All of these components are key to protecting your head during a crash.

Factors to consider when buying a helmet for ORV use

  • Make sure the helmet is DOT-compliant
  • Get the right fit
  • New helmets usually fit tighter
  • Follow manufacturer’s care instructions for helmet
  • Replace helmet after a crash or after every few years without damage 

The Utah DNR offers online off-road vehicle certification courses. Utah law requires that kids ages 8 to 15 complete this course before operating an ORV.