Play it Safe on Your ATV
It's a great day to hit the trails on your ATV. You're ready to hop on and go, but you don't want to take the time to put safety gear on, or you think it will be too hot or too bulky. Unfortunately, when ATV safety precautions are ignored injuries can—and do—occur. As of December 31, 2015, the Consumer Products Safety Commission received reports of 340 ATV-related fatalities and an estimated 97,200 ATV-related injuries treated in emergency rooms. You can avoid some of the danger with these simple safety precautions.
Gear Up for Safety
ATVs are designed to drive through rough terrain. As a result, mud, rocks, sand and other debris can fly up and damage your skin. Never wear shorts or short-sleeved shirts when riding an ATV.
- Helmets - The most obvious piece of safety equipment for any ATV rider is a helmet. You never know when you will hit something you don't see that will send you flying off your ATV, and you'll need adequate head protection to avoid a traumatic brain injury.
- Goggles - A good pair of goggles is just as important. Your ATV can send mud, rocks and other debris flying—sometimes right into your eyes. Besides being in a lot of pain, this could damage your vision.
- Boots – ATV boots can help protect your ankles, toes and legs from injuries and protect your legs from scratches if you ride through heavy brush or sand.
- Long-Sleeved Shirt – It's smart to wear a long-sleeved shirt, even in summer, to protect your arms from scratches if you ride through or near heavy brush or sand.
- Gloves – Gloves with padding will protect your hands from soreness and blisters.
Other Safety Tips
- Take an ATV safety training course
- Don't allow passengers unless it's a dual-passenger ATV
- Don't allow a child to drive an adult-sized ATV
- Don't drive an ATV on paved roads
- Don't drive under the influence
- Avoid hills that are too steep for your ATV
- Keep your body weight forward
- Keep your speed appropriate for conditions
A little common sense can go a long way when operating an ATV. Don't be so anxious to get to the fun that you forget safety. One accident can ruin it quickly!