Give us a few minutes of your attention and you’ll be rewarded with the best possible riding experience and more ways to keep you, your family, and your friends safe off-road.
If we have your attention, keep scrolling. If not, bookmark this page and return when you’re able to invest 15 minutes before your next ride. This really is that important.
We live by these rules, forged from years of off-road experience—and challenge you to remember them by any means necessary. They’ve kept us safe for years—now we’re passing them on to you.
Wear a helmet. Wear a helmet. Wear a helmet. Wear a helmet. Wear a helmet. Wear a helmet. Got it? Good.
Don’t numb the off-road experience: no alcohol, no drugs. Stay hydrated & take breaks to reduce fatigue.
Be at least 16 with a valid driver’s license for SSVs and ages 6-16 for ATVs, depending on vehicle and engine size — check safety labels to be sure.
Ride with friends—only if your ATV or Side-by-Side is designed to carry passengers. Unsure? Refer to Safety Decals on the machine.
Put your skills to the test and have proof: take a certified safety course. Want a shortcut? Here's a free SXS & ATV online course.
Everything we know about safety, in one place. Keep reading to see how focusing on safety always leads to the best possible ride. And please—don’t be shy about sharing this page.
If you’re not comfortable, you can begin focusing on the wrong things, which can lead you into an unsafe position. Your dealer, rider safety course, or local riding club can assist you with getting as comfortable as possible.
How you feel in the vehicle and how you’re responding to the terrain goes a long way to enjoying the off-road experience. If you’re not comfortable, you can begin focusing on the wrong things, which can lead you into an unsafe position.
Once you’re comfortable? Get goin’—now you can focus on riding safe and having fun!
Your shopping list (M / W): closed-toe shoes, long pants, long-sleeved shirt or jacket, gloves, eye protection, and weather-appropriate gear. Helmets should be approved by your local authority and be free from visible cracks, deep gashes, & signs of abuse.
As you progress, keep investing in yourself. Experienced riders often have gloves, waders, riding boots, and other riding gear chosen for a reason: if you know one, ask ‘em why.
Last point: extra layers, including rain gear, are compact and easy to bring along…staying warm and dry means no interruptions if the weather changes.
In your backyard, spectating at Oldsmobile Hill or bogging deep at a mud park makes no difference to us: leave alcohol and drugs out of the experience. Please remember: being impaired is the fastest way to the scene of your crash.
If you’re not drinking, what then? You’ll experience an undiluted off-road ride, be truly ready for anything, keep loved ones safe, and you’ll stay legal.
Your vehicle is designed to carry a certain number of people. Refer to the warning labels located on the vehicle—don’t carry more than it’s designed for. Cargo areas, tailgate, and vehicle racks are never suitable for passengers, ever.
Two-seat ATV passengers must be capable of sitting upright, while firmly placing their feet on the footboards, with their hands on the rear handholds. Passengers should also be dressed correctly, and wearing a helmet.
Side-by-Side vehicles have seat belts—don’t carry more passengers than there are seatbelts, or modify the vehicle to carry additional passengers. All riders should be capable of sitting upright against the backrest, with seatbelt fastened, feet firmly planted and holding the grab bars.
Taking a training course is essential. You’ll gain valuable experience from a certified instructor, learn about the terrain and conditions in your area, and feel more confident on future rides.
Your dealer is also a good resource for local training programs and off-road clubs that may offer certification programs.
Nobody—at any age—should use an off-road vehicle if they aren’t a responsible rider. ATV riders on machines with engines 250cc and above should be at least 16 years old. Side-by-Side operators should be 16 years or older, with a valid driver’s license.
From our family to yours, thank you for taking the time to read, digest, and act on safety. It’s our responsibility to keep off-road areas free from crashes, garbage, excessive speed or noise.
Respect yourself, your passengers, your vehicle—and the land. Pay attention & ride safely.
Can’t wait to see you out there.
Invest the time now and reap the rewards for life: take a rider safety program!
United States and Canada
ATVcourse.com has a listing of local programs across the U.S. and Canada, and has helped to certify nearly 2 million off-road riders since its inception.
ATV riders, visit atvsafety.org to enroll online in a free course or call 1 800-887–2887 to join one of the national ATV Safety Institute’s rider certification programs. Cost ranges from free to less than $200 for in-person instruction.
Side-by-Side riders, visit www.rohva.org to take a free online course, or enroll in the ROV Basic DriverCourseSM. The national Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association can also be reached at 1 866-267-2751
Visit the Canada Safety Council online for more information on ATV rider courses (https://canadasafetycouncil.org/product/atv-rider-course/) and Side-by-Side / UTV courses (https://canadasafetycouncil.org/product/utility-terrain-vehicle-utv-side-by-side-course/); they can be reached by phone at 1 613-739–1535. In addition, CSC-approved courses are listed on ATVcourse.com.
We’ll be very clear: nobody at any age should ride an off-road vehicle if they aren’t responsible enough to ride properly.
ATVs are not toys, but they can be a good first step into off-roading. We offer Youth-focused ATV models for riders aged 6 and up; with adult supervision at all times.
We recommend that ATV riders on machines with engines 250cc and above are at least 16 years old. Take the next step and complete a rider safety program.
We recommend that all Side-by-Side operators are 16 years or older, with a valid driver’s license. Rider safety certification programs are also available for SSVs.
Every Can-Am owner creates unique stories with their vehicle. Some are exceptional and must be shared.