• Key risk factors associated with ROV operation
• Safe riding practices designed to reduce risk of injury
• The best resources for learning to operate particular vehicle models
Recreational Off-highway Vehicles (ROVs) are designed to travel on four or more non-highway tires, with a steering wheel, non-straddle seating, seat belts, occupant-protective structure, and an engine displacement up to 1,000cc. Sometimes referred to as side-by-sides or utility terrain vehicles (UTVs), current ROV models are designed with seats for a driver and one or more passengers and are used for a variety of outdoor recreational purposes as well as many work applications.
“ROHVA’s E-Course is an excellent resource for both new and experienced ROV drivers to learn how to safely operate their vehicles while enjoying the freedom of adventure they provide,” said Paul Vitrano, executive vice president of the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association. “The E-Course is intended to improve awareness about ROVs and inspire a safety-minded approach to off-highway recreation.”
The two-hour on-line safety course helps develop safe driving habits but is not a “learn to drive” course. Users can save their progress and stop at any time to pick up later where they left off. At the end of the course users have the option to take an ROV safety quiz to test their knowledge. To register for free, drivers can visit http://cbt.rohva.org/.
ROVs operate similarly to on-highway cars and trucks but there are special considerations when operating in an off-highway environment. The ROV E-Course provides drivers a new resource to reinforce proper techniques and safety rules. Following such rules are essential, as a recent study of ROV crashes revealed at least one behavior warned against in manufacturer operator manuals was present in 98 percent of crashes. These warned-against behaviors include doing stunts, riding at excessive speeds, riding on paved roads, using alcohol or drugs while driving, improper seating of passengers, failing to wear a helmet and failing to wear a seat belt.
The study also found that 23 percent of crashes involved drivers under the recommended age. ROHVA recommends that no one under the age of 16 should operate an ROV without a valid driver’s license. The ROV E-Course is not intended for children.
As highlighted in the E-Course, ROHVA urges enthusiasts to follow the ROV Safety Rules to ensure the safety of drivers, passengers and everyone else.
1. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear, use the seat belts, and keep all parts of your body inside the ROV.
2. Never drive on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law. ROVs are designed to be operated off-highway.
3. Drive only in designated areas, at a safe speed, and use care when turning and crossing slopes.
4. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
5. Never drive an ROV unless you’re 16 or older or have a driver’s license. ROVs are not toys.
6. Never carry more passengers than the ROV is designed for, and never allow a passenger who is too small to sit in a passenger seat to ride in the ROV.
7. Read and follow the operator’s manual and warning labels.