It’s January—the start of a new decade! What better time to get out and enjoy the trails on a brand new CFMOTO CFORCE ATV or a CFMOTO Utility Sport Side x Side? The wilderness is waiting. Across the United States, winter weather creates some spectacular views and in Northern climates, gloriously powdery riding conditions. It’s the perfect season to get out there and ride.
However, as wonderfully fun as wintertime riding can be, it does come with its fair share of safety concerns, regardless of if you’re riding an ATV or a side by side. Responsible riders will do their part in researching and making themselves aware of these concerns, both for their own welfare, as well as the longevity of the vehicle. CFMOTO, as an ATV company and a side by side company, is thrilled to be able to help with this!
A while back on our blog, we discussed safe wintertime ATV riding in general, but this month, we’d like to explore more on a wintertime safety threat that both users of ATVs and side by sides face: the threat of poor ground conditions. Be it ice or powdery snow, less-than-ideal footing, and inattentive driving can mean anything from the loss of control of your vehicle to getting stuck in a rut. Suffice it to say, there’s no quicker way to ruin a wonderful outing. Luckily, with the power of CFMOTO Utility side x sides and CFMOTO ATVs, along with smart driving practices, you can drastically reduce your chances of getting stuck or having an accident.
Ready to learn how to have the safest, most fun wintertime outing you can? Read on.
Wintertime Driving is an Acquired Skill
As passionate as you might be about ATVs and side by sides, you must admit that nobody is born knowing how to ride one. Proper and safe operation of these powerful pieces of machinery requires licensure, training, and, above all, time in the driver’s seat. This line of thinking, while crucial in all seasons, is especially important to carry forward into the winter months. Just like when it comes to regular cars, operating an ATV or side by side during this season when conditions can be slippery, is not something to deal with lightly. It is a learned skill, and if that skill is not practiced correctly, disaster can result. Stuck vehicles, damaged vehicle exteriors, injuries—the list goes on and on.
As stated above, CFMOTO ATVs and side by sides are specially made to tackle anything any climate throws at you. However, if there is the possibility of questionable ground conditions, caution is always advised when operating any ATV or side by side, whether they are CFMOTO products or not.
While “caution” is a wonderful concept, what might this word look like in practice when it comes to your outdoor adventures?
● Know how to get your vehicle unstuck | While, again, CFMOTO ATVs and side by sides are some of the most steadfast vehicles out there, getting stuck in a pit or rut can happen to anyone at any time, especially when conditions are slick. You might not be able to see dips in the path as well as you could if that path was cleared, and the powdery snow itself can greatly reduce your ATV or side by side’s traction. Therefore, knowing how to get your vehicle out of these situations and moving forward again is a vital skill for riders of any level. For ATVs, standing up on the vehicle, rocking back and forth, and applying the throttle is a great way to free yourself, according to ATV Connection. When it comes to side by sides, there really is no consensus on how to best get unstuck. However, using a winch to maneuver the vehicle to safety is probably your best bet.
● Know your limits, as well as your machine’s | Never push yourself into a situation with which you feel uncomfortable in the wintertime. While being a little more brash of a rider might be acceptable in the warmer months when there is better traction, pushing your limits in the winter can result in extreme danger, as snow can quickly leave you stranded and vulnerable to frostbite and hypothermia. This same line of thinking should apply to your vehicle, as well. If you smell burning rubber or the snow is bumping against your vehicle's frame, it’s probably best to pick another trail or another day to ride.
● Keep your distance from reckless drivers | As hard as you try to be safe, you cannot be held responsible for other riders’ unsafe behavior out on the trails. However, you can take steps to protect yourself and the rest of your group. Give unnecessarily speedy drivers a wide berth, especially if you are traveling over particularly hazardous terrain. If necessary, and the terrain is safe, you can even pull off to the side to allow these drivers to pass.
Looking for the Best ATVs and Side by Sides in the Industry? You’ve found them at CFMOTO!
Of course, being safe in the winter also has a lot to do with getting a vehicle that can handle the weather. You can put your trust in CFMOTO! Find your nearest dealer now.