Summer vacations bring many families to outdoor adventure parks.  While ziplining or rafting can present a great risk, it is also important for adventure operators to pay attention to passenger transportation using off-road vehicles.

According to the CDC, many other industries use ATVs for their businesses including:  border patrol, construction operations, emergency medical response, search and rescue, law enforcement, land management and surveying, military operations, mineral and oil exploration, pipeline maintenance, ranching and farming, small-scale forestry activities and wild land fire control.

Whether your business uses these vehicles for employee or passenger transport, follow these guidelines:

  •  Age.  All drivers should be at least 18 years old.
  • Motor vehicle report.  Make an approved driver list.  Make of list of things that make an employee ineligible:  2 speeding tickets, one major violation (DUI or suspended license).  Check the driving history of every single driver before they are allowed to be on the approved driver list.
  • Driving rules and procedures.  Make a list of driving rules and procedures that provide an overview of expectations for employees that wish to become part of the approved driver list.  You might include things such as:
    • Vehicles may only turn around in a designated area.  This ensures there is adequate space to make a turn.
    • Make sure all passengers of the ATV or UTV have seatbelts fastened at all times.
    • If an employee or guest is driving, mobile phones must be placed in a box that is out of reach.
    • When traveling down a hill, only low gear should be used.
    • Vehicle weight should be distributed evenly.  For example, there should be a mix of kids and adults on each side.  If all adults are on one side, there is a higher risk of rollover.
    • No one should carry heavy items in the front row.
  • Training session.  Each employee must complete a training session with a manager.  The following items should be covered during training:
    • Overview of vehicle should be provided, along with functions of each component.
    • Employee and trainer should drive the designated route together.  Manager should point out areas such as blind spots, crossing areas, rough spots in the road.
    • Review of driver rules.
    • Review the expectations of the driver.