Common sense and doctors agree; things that can be enjoyable and healthy in the right amounts can be harmful if you overdo it. If exercise or shopping can become addictive, I thought something really fun like UTVing could be a problem if you don’t know how to control it. To help, I’ve prepared this simple test to identify signs that your enthusiasm for UTVing may be getting out of hand.

1. Are you hiding your UTVing? If you are going for UTV rides when you said you were going to a school play or a wedding, you may have a UTV problem, especially if you’re supposed to be in the play, or the bride or groom.  Friends or family members probably suspect something when they see you leave many hours early for these events towing a trailer with your machine. Do you have a second or third UTV at friends’ houses that your wife doesn’t know about? That’s not cool. You know she’d like to drive those machines too!

2. Do you go UTVing to relax or feel better? Do you find nothing relieves the stress of a tough week at work like a good ride on some fun trails with friends? Do you think about going riding when you’re at a boring movie or in an anxiety-producing situation, like sitting in the dentist’s chair waiting for the dentist to come in?

3. Do you find it hard to stop UTVing when you start? Are you one of those drivers who can’t resist exploring new trails, even when you’re nearly out of gas, or some of your friends are already back at camp loading up? Do you find yourself always using all the extra gas you bring along and then asking friends for more gas?

4. Does UTVing put you in dangerous situations or cause you to seek out dangerous situations? Did you realize that your UTV took you up and over a steep, rocky trail you could never have reached or climbed on foot? Has a UTV allowed you to jump farther and higher than you ever imagined possible? Does your UTV enable you to reach high speeds on rough terrain yet you have a feeling of complete safety?

5. Do you find you need a UTV to climb giant sand dunes, cross deep mud bogs or conquer other obstacles in your life?

6. Do you neglect responsibilities to go UTVing? Have you blown off mowing the lawn or washing the car to go to the dunes or trail riding with your family or friends?

7. Do you tend to hang out with others who enjoy or encourage UTVing? Do you get together with people you may not even know just to ride UTVs? Do you enjoy games or competitions that involve UTVs?

8. Do you experience withdrawal when you can’t ride UTVs? When you don’t get to ride, do you become irritable, depressed, anxious or nauseous? This is a sign your body may be craving strong acceleration, precise cornering, the sensation of sliding sideways, or the fresh air and natural outdoor scenery that UTVing provides.

If you answered yes to any of the questions on my test, your urge for UTVing is excessive and possibly out of control. But that’s okay, because unlike many forms of addiction, UTVing addiction isn’t serious or harmful; it might even keep you away from things that are.

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