How to Stay Safe on Your ATV in the Winter

As of 2016, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission received reports of 14,653 ATV-related fatalities since 1982, with 336 of them occurring in 2016. The numbers are expected to increase in future CPSC reports, meaning it’s more important than ever to stay safe while on an ATV. And when you’re riding in the winter, you’ll have to take extra special precautions for safety reasons.

Don’t let winter be the reason you put away your ATV; embrace the cold and the activities that come with it. But before you go riding off into the snow, take a peek at these precautions that you should take while riding your ATV during the winter, courtesy of Midwest Traction.

Create a Kit

There’s three types of kits you’ll need when using your ATV: a tool kit, survival kit and a first aid kit. But what needs to go in those kits? Here’s what you should include in each of them:

  • First Aid – Gauze and bandages for wounds, a space blanket for warmth, spray-on disinfectant to clean and hot hands in the event of extreme cold (or any portable heating device).
  • Tool Kit – Bring water, non-perishable food, a lighter, a multi-tool like a Swiss Army knife, paracord and tarp for protection if needed, a beacon and a probe in the event of an avalanche happening.
  • Survival Kit – Bring a shovel, saw or a winch. A winch is heavily recommended because it’s heavy duty. Also bring tire chains and a tire repair kit.

Some of this may sound more extreme than what you’ve been planning, but you never know what could happen, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Bring Your Gear

On top of your essential kits, you’re going to need to bring some gear as well. Make sure you have gear that is waterproof, so you will still have grip when moisture accumulates on the seat. You’re going to want moisture-wicking clothing, which will help you stay dry underneath all of those layers. Bring gloves with warm lining, a helmet, a face mask, shoes with traction and eye protection. Without these things, your ATV ride could go south very fast.


Sure, riding an ATV is fun. But it comes with responsibility: it’s dangerous like operating any other vehicle. Check the weather, check the terrain, make sure your kits are packed and you’re wearing proper gear. Bring GPS so you don’t have to rely on your phone and figure out if you’ll have any reception at all. Other than that, it’s up to you to make sure your ATV is ready for the trek. Get some snow tires on your ATV and outfit it up with the best winter gear possible. Get a lift kit for your winter endeavors. Inflate your tires a little higher than normal and check your battery to make sure it’s fully charged. Also always check your tire pressure, brakes, air filter and fuel before going out. Always stay on the trail and don’t ride alone. Don’t venture off and get lost.

At David G. Sayles Insurance Services, our Personal Insurance programs include comprehensive Toy Insurance coverage which includes insurance for ATVs, off-roaders, and other vehicles. You wouldn’t drive a car without Auto Insurance, right? Don’t plan an ATV trip without the right coverage. Contact your agent today to learn more about the coverage.

About David G. Sayles Insurance Services

At David G. Sayles Insurance Services, we strive to protect the investments of people like you. Our comprehensive policies are customized for you to provide the exact coverage you need. For more information, contact us today at (800) 439-0292.