Did you or someone in your life get an all-terrain vehicle from Santa last year? If so, be aware of the basics of ATV safety.
Get trained: Formal training teaches drivers how to control ATVs in typical situations. Drivers with hands-on training have a lower injury risk than drivers with no training.
Wear a helmet: Many ATV injuries are head injuries. Always wear protective gear, especially a Department of Transportation-certified helmet, when riding an ATV.
Don’t allow children on adult ATVs: Children are involved in about one-third of all ATV-related deaths and hospital emergency room injuries. Children under 16 on adult ATVs are twice as likely to be injured as those riding youth ATVs.
Don’t ride tandem: ATVs are designed for interactive riding where drivers must be able to shift their weight freely in all directions. Passengers make this difficult. Do not drive ATVs with a passenger or ride as a passenger on an ATV.
Don’t ride on pavement: ATVs are difficult to control on paved roads. Collisions with cars and other vehicles can also be deadly. Many ATV fatalities occur on paved roads.
Don’t ride under the influence: Alcohol and drugs impair reaction time and judgment, two essential skills for safe ATV use.
Make sure you give the gift of safety know-how when you give an ATV to someone, especially a child.