Marie-Claude Dulac

By Marie-Claude Dulac

November 19, 2018


Checklist before you take off on an ATV ride

Article revised on 18 March 2021

Going for a ride on your ATV? Whether it’s just to get outside for a few hours or to get away for several days, a few simple measures will allow you to fully enjoy your ATV ride in safety.

Be well informed when you set out

  • Make sure you know the laws, regulations and particularities that apply to driving ATVs in the region you will be in.
    For example, ATV owners in Quebec must have civil liability insurance for $500,000. If you are held liable of injuries sustained by someone else following an accident that occurred on the trails, this coverage can compensate the injured person. That’s why insurers recommend taking out a civil liability limit of $2 million to cover all your bases.
    Note that the Société de l’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ) only compensates victims of accidents occuring on a public road.
  • Stay on top of the weather forecast, trail conditions and the risk of avalanche.
  • Plan your route based on the FQCQ’s network of trails. Avoid crossing over bodies of water. If you must cross a river or lake during winter, take marked trails. Check on the conditions before you set out.

Be well prepared when you set out

  • Get a mechanical inspection of your ATV before each trip.
  • Put together a survival kit that includes:
    • A trail map and compass
    • Tools
    • Waterproof and weatherproof matches and candles
    • A flashlight
    • A first aid kit and manual
    • Drinking water
  • Avoid alcohol so you can remain alert.
  • Have the following documents on you:
    • Trail permit
    • Vehicle registration certificate
    • Proof of insurance
    • Driver’s licence
    • Certificate of competence (16 and 17 year-old drivers or drivers carrying a passenger on ATVs that have a booster seat installed).

Make sure you have everything you might need!

  • On ATVs, you must wear mandatory protective gear: shoes, protective helmet or safety glasses, if your helmet is not equipped with a visor.
  • Wear clothes suited for cold weather. A good way to ensure your comfort is to dress in layers. Avoid cotton because it doesn’t dry fast.
  • Your vehicle must be equipped with:
    • a white headlight, which must be switched on at all times
    • red position and brake lights
    • a rearview mirror on the left side of the vehicle
    • an exhaust system
    • a braking system
    • an odometer

Remember that being well-prepared is a sure way to enjoy your rides in comfort but above all, in safety!

Happy trails!

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