4-H ATV Safety Menu
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Follow these guidelines for ATV Safety:

  1. Clearance between the ATV seat and inseam while standing up on footpegs. You must have the right clearance between the seat and your inseam to stand up and properly absorb shocks through the legs while riding your ATV on rough terrain. Proper clearance also keeps the seat from hitting you during a ride, which could throw you over the handlebars. You'll need three to six inches clearance between the seat and inseam when you are standing up on your ATV's footpegs. The maximum is controlled by the size of your ATV. The ATV Safety Institute recommends:

  2. Upper legs. The upper portion of your leg - from about the top of your knee to your hip - should be about horizontal to help you control your ATV. A little above or below horizontal shouldn't be a problem, but huge differences - knees significantly below or above the hips - should be checked by an adult. If your knees are quite a bit above the hips, turn the handlebars in both directions and check for contact with knees or legs.
  3. Foot length. Check to see if you can brake correctly. Lock the heel of your right shoe against the footpeg or in the proper position on the running board. Your toe should be able to depress the footbrake with a simple downward rotation of your foot. Check if you have any contact with engine or exhaust protrusions. You should be able to use the brakes consistently without hesitation. The same rule applies to the ATV's left side where the gearshift is located.
  4. Grip reach. To steer and balance correctly, sit normally on your ATV with your hands on the handlebars. Your elbows should have a distinct angle between your upper arm and forearm. If your elbows are straight out, you won't be able to turn the handlebars. Make sure you aren't reaching forward to compensate for a short reach. If your elbows are at less than right angles, you are too large for the ATV and steering and maintaining balance will be difficult.
  5. Throttle reach. Check your throttle reach to control your speed and handling. With your right hand in the normal operating position, check to see if your thumb can easily operate the throttle. Turn the handlebars to the extreme left and right positions. Check again for any interference with easy operation.
  6. Brake reach. Make sure you have good stopping control. Place your hands in the normal operating position with fingers straight out. Check to see if the first joint (from the tip) of your middle finger extends beyond the brake lever. If not, your hand is too small to effectively grasp the lever in an emergency. Make sure your thumb also reaches the engine stop switch. Squeeze the brake lever a few times to be sure you can comfortably use the controls.

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