As Americans prepare to celebrate their independence, the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association reminds ROV enthusiasts that the best way to enjoy freedom is to do so responsibly. Sometimes referred to as side-by-sides or UTVs, ROVs are motorized off-road vehicles designed to travel on four or more non-highway tires, with a steering wheel, non-straddle seating for a driver and one or more passengers, seat belts, and a roll over protective structure.
With the Fourth of July holiday falling on a Wednesday, ROV owners nationwide will be taking extended weekends to explore America’s trails, deserts and public lands. ROHVA reminds enthusiasts to drive safely and enhance their skills by taking the award-winning ROHVA E-Course and the new hands-on ROV Basic DriverCourse.
The ROV E-Course consists of free online training featuring a multi-media, interactive safety course that’s available 24/7 at www.rohva.org. Safe practices are reinforced and the course examines improper ROV use to help drivers make the right choices when they are off-roading. The ROV Basic DriverCourse includes the E-Course and incorporates two-and one-half hours of closed-range driving exercises, utilizing both student participatory discussions and hands-on driving lessons.
“ROHVA’s mission is to promote the safe and responsible use of ROVs,” said ROHVA Executive Vice President Paul Vitrano. “We believe that one of the ways to do that is to make available comprehensive instruction that includes both online and hands-on training. With the extra-long Fourth of July weekend approaching, ROHVA encourages ROV enthusiasts to polish their safety skills so they can drive safely, respect others, preserve the environment, and make the right choices while having a good time.
A recent study determined that 98 percent of ROV crashes involved at least one of the warned-against behaviors found in ROV operator manuals, while 23 percent of crashes involved drivers under the recommended age. ROHVA recommends that anyone under the age of 16, or without a driver’s license, should not operate an ROV. ROHVA also urges all ROV drivers to follow its seven common-sense guidelines to help ensure the safety of drivers, passengers and everyone else off-road.
ROV Safety Rules
1. Always fasten your seat belt, wear a helmet and other protective gear and keep all parts of your body inside the ROV.
2. Avoid paved surfaces. 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 or ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
5. Never drive an ROV unless you’re 16 or older and have a valid 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.
The Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) is a national industry organization that promotes the safe and responsible use of ROVs. ROHVA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop equipment, configuration and performance standards. Based in Irvine, Calif., the not-for-profit association is sponsored by Arctic Cat, BRP, Kawasaki, Polaris and Yamaha. For more information visit www.rohva.org.