Sunday’s fatal accident involving a 15-year-old Michigan boy has acted as a reminder to always be safe while driving an ATV.
There are six essential safety tips to follow while operating an ATV that will help to reduce the risk of injury and ultimately save lives. The tips, taken from ATVSafety.org, are as follows:
- Take a safety training course – a hands-on training course will allow the driver to learn of typical situations involved with ATVs, helping to lower the risk for injury.
- Wear protective gear – it is imperative to always wear protective gear when riding on an ATV. The helmet is the most essential piece of protective gear and can help to save a life.
- Do not drive with a passenger – ATVs are meant to carry only one person, making it dangerous to have a passenger on with you. It is critical for the driver of the ATV to be able to shift their weight in whichever way the terrain calls for.
- Do not operate ATV on paved road – ATVs can be difficult to control on paved roads, making collisions with cars a possibility.
- Do not allow children to drive adult ATVs – most of the injuries or deaths involving a child and an ATV occur when the child is driving or riding on an adult ATV. A child under the age of 16 should not be permitted on an adult ATV, as they are twice as likely to be injured.
- Do not operate an ATV while under the influence – driving an ATV while impaired is very dangerous. Never operate an ATV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
As more people turn to ATVs for recreation with the warmer weather on its way, we want to stress the importance of following the above safety tips. ATV accidents can be very tragic, and nearly 1/3 of them involve children, making it even more imperative to be safe.