The use of off-road vehicles is a fantastic way to see all the beauty the Northeast has to offer.

As the temperatures start to drop in the Northeast, many people will abandon the lakes and streams they frequented during the warmer months. These bodies of water will be replaced by the extensive trail system that exists throughout the Northeast.

Boats, now in storage, will be replaced by all-terrain vehicles, and as the temperatures drop further snowmobiles.

However, before hitting the trails there are a few things to consider.

Suit up. It starts at the top with the helmet. Use of a helmet has been demonstrated to reduce the likelihood of traumatic brain injury in ORV accidents. Do you need any more reason than that to wear a helmet? Beyond a helmet, make sure to cover up. Covered skin is less vulnerable to injury than uncovered skin. This makes long pants and a long shirt made from durable materials essential.

Stay off-road. While riding an ORV avoid public roads, except for clear ORV crossings. Riding ORVs on public roads can be dangerous. Motorists are not used to seeing ORVs on the roads and damage caused by a collision with a vehicle could be severe. Further, New York prohibits use of an ORV on public roads except where designated. It can be helpful to plan out routes in advance to avoid any unnecessary use of the public roads.

Knowledge is power. Proper training is critical to riding smartly and safely. Fortunately, there are plenty of options—both in the public and private sector—for individuals who are looking to get educated. The Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, the leading trade association dedicated to ATV safety, offers education through its All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute. In addition, many local riding clubs offer safety courses. In the public sector, many agencies that regulate ORVs (e.g., state and local highway departments, as well as parks departments) offer training.

Purchase insurance. Of course, no matter how safely you ride your ORV it is impossible to reduce the risk to zero. Accidents will happen. When they do happen, having the proper insurance is critical to fully protecting yourself. Much like traditional auto insurance, insurance on your ORV will provide liability and property damage coverage in the event of an accident.

Not only is ORV insurance a smart idea, but it is mandatory in New York for anyone riding an ORV in the state. Before you take your fun off-road, make sure you have the insurance coverage you need. Call Muller Insurance today.

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