One of the great things about OHV recreation is that we can get outdoors, often far from services.  Many of us love to take our machines deep in the backcountry to escape our day-to-day routines.  Of course, this sort of recreation requires responsibility.  We should wear appropriate safety gear, recreate responsibly, travel with others and plan ahead.  But, despite our best effort incidents happen.  Even incidents that may be unrelated to the OHV recreation itself are possible – heart attacks, strokes, forest fires, animal run-ins and any number of other maladies can and do happen.  As a result, it is imperative that we are prepared whenever we get in or throw a leg over our machines. 

While there are lots of important steps to take to ensure your safe return from a day (or more) on the trails, NOHVCC Alabama Partner, Steve Newton has provided NOHVCC with one very easy idea to make sure your loved ones can be reached in the event of any incident. 

Steve said, “One of our members on our last ride mentioned that if something happened during the ride, he would not know who to call for an emergency. So, I came up with a form and have asked our members to fill it out and keep a copy in their unit.”

The form (can be viewed here: PDF) includes simple information like name, address, emergency contact information, insurance information, etc.  You could simply fill out the form, print and laminate it and keep it in or on your vehicle.  Then any riding partners, good Samaritans or emergency personnel would know who to reach out to in the event of an emergency. 

Steve even took it one step further saying, “Also, Patricia (Steve’s wife) and I have started wearing “Dog Tags” with our information on them.  We thought that since we are on the road so much, if something happens then the police would have our contact information.”

As we all increasingly rely on cell phones and other electronic devices to navigate our lives, we can often overlook simple ways to be prepared.  Steve and his club have come up with an easy way to ensure that our loved ones can be notified of emergencies – lets all follow their lead.

If you have other simple ideas to improve OHV safety, please let us know at

NOHVCC recently hosted a webinar featuring Eric Anderson titled Preparing for the Long Haul – Be prepared for Your Next Off-Highway Adventure describing how to prepare and pack your vehicle for any situation that may occur on long trips.  This is a good place to start to understand how to be prepared.  Click here to view a recorded version of the webinar (login required).

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