Skip to main content

Course Outline

Press the play button (►) above to start the video.

Video Transcript

Transcript for Riding Smart and Reducing Risks

Rob: All right. We got everything? Let’s see, we got the fishing gear?

Haley: Yes.

Rob: Drinks?

Haley: Check.

Rob: Light, tools?

Haley: Check.

Rob: Compass, matches, first aid kit. We got the duct tape.

Haley: Mm-hm.

Rob: Uh, where is the map?

The person behind the camera whistles and extends the map to Rob.

Haley: Ah—check. You are going to love our secret fishing spot.

Rob: Now, even if we weren’t headed out into the boonies, we’d still use the buddy system with a rider like yourself. Because you see, that way, we can all keep track of another rider. Now, you left your ride plan with a friend, right? Who knows you’re not riding alone?

The person behind the camera nods.

Haley: That’s good. And I went ahead and checked the weather, and we got our trail passes, so we’re good to go.

Prepping for the Ride

Haley: You’ve already completed your pre-ride inspection, and you passed a rider active challenge with us. So we know you can safely handle the terrain. And just make sure you ride within your comfort zone. You’re fed, watered, and rested, right?

Rob: That makes us sound like horses. But it is important to be fed, watered, and well-rested so that we can stay sharp on the trail. Because one of things you can expect on adventures like this is the unexpected. All right, let’s hit the trail and see what happens.

Ride Smart

The person behind the camera, who is driving behind Haley, begins to accelerate to pass her on the left. He then begins to pass Rob as well. Rob signals to stop, and the group huddles up to talk.

Rob: I’m sorry. I thought you knew. You see, we always ride single file so we can safely maneuver. And we keep a three- to four-second reaction time distance between riders.

Haley: That three to four seconds allows us to stop or maneuver so we can avoid collisions. And you saw Rob’s hand signal to stop, right? Since we can’t talk while we’re on the ATVs, hand signals are really important. So let’s review them. Try them with me.

  • Stop: The rider extends their left hand down, with the palm facing backward.
  • Slow down: The rider extends their left hand horizontally and moves it toward the ground a few times.
  • Left turn: The rider extends their left hand horizontally with the palm facing the ground.
  • Right turn: The rider raises their left hand to head level with the palm facing forward.
  • Hazard left: The rider uses their left hand to point at the ground and makes sweeping motions forward and backward.
  • Hazard right: The rider uses their left hand to tap their helmet twice, pointer finger extended.
  • Oncoming traffic: The rider sweeps their cupped left hand from hip to head level (like an exaggerated “come over here” gesture).

Haley: OK. Great job on the hand signals. Now, here’s a question. What do you if somebody’s tailgating you? That’s right! You slow down and let them pass. All right. I bet those fish are getting hungry, so let’s get going.

The Laws

Rob: All right. So if local and state OHV laws protect people, property, and the future of OHV riding, whose job is it to find out about those laws? Well, you guessed it, it’s you.

On screen: Find out the laws by checking the Department of Motor Vehicle’s website or talking to a local ATV dealer.

Rob: And it’s also your responsibility to learn and obey the trail signs in the area that you’re riding. And being courteous to everyone you meet on the trail shows respect, and it helps our image.


One of the riders encounters a log fallen across the trail that he can’t easily drive over.

Haley: No sweat, buddy. Stay right there. I’ll walk you through it. Just put it in low gear, and stand up. Now, when you’re coming into the log, come in at 90 degrees. Keep a steady throttle as you approach the log, and when your front wheels hit it, just give it a burst of throttle as you go over, and lean forward. And that’s basically it. I’ll stand off to the side here and help you out.

Haley watches as the rider successfully clears the log.

Choosing Where You Ride

The rider behind the camera points into the woods and looks back toward Haley and Rob. Both shake their heads no.

Rob: No, no. We don’t want to go off-trail. We want to stay on the trail. You see, the whole reason we’re out here is because it’s naturally beautiful. All right. Now, think about something. Which one of these will help keep this place naturally beautiful? Stay on designated trails or in permitted areas. Don’t blaze new trails. Respect closed gates and private property. Stay clear of wild animals, and avoid disturbing livestock. Stay out of sensitive and designated wilderness areas. All right. They can all help keep natural areas beautiful. And that’s with your help, of course. OK, we’ve been going pretty hard, so let’s go around that bend, and we’ll take a rest.

Taking Breaks

Rob: So, breaks are more than just a time to chill. They help prevent fatigue. And fatigue caused by motion, wind, and vibrations from these things can slow your reaction time, impair judgment, and ultimately cause accidents.

Rob and Haley open bottles of sports drinks. Haley notices that the person behind the camera is cracking open a beer and spits out her drink in surprise.

Don’t Be Dumb

Haley: What else can depress your central nervous system, slow your reaction time, seriously impair your judgment, and cause accidents? 30% of ATV fatalities involve alcohol. You can become slightly intoxicated after only one drink. Some over-the-counter and prescription drugs can have similar effects to alcohol. Marijuana reduces your ability to see at night and slows your reflexes. Amphetamines or cocaine can alter judgment and lead to reckless behavior.

Rob: It’s pretty clear, you never mix alcohol, drugs, and riding. It’s not cool; it’s dumb. And worse than that, the mixture can be deadly. All right. Let’s ride.

Haley: So we showed you lots of ways to reduce risks while riding. So now it’s your turn. Get out there and ride smart, but don’t give away our secret fishing hole.

Haley sees Rob taking a photo of the spot with his smartphone.

Haley: Rob!

  • Unit 5 of 7
  • Topic 1 of 6
  • Page 1 of 6