The use and operation of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) can be fun but can also create personal-safety risks. More than 130,000 emergency room visits have been ATV related in recent years, with an estimated 25% of those visits involving children under the age of 16. Understanding ATV risks and how to mitigate the hazards can help prevent injuries and serious accidents (ASC n.d.).
The following “Golden Rules” are recommended when operating an ATV (ASI 2017):
- Wear a Department of Transportation (DOT) compliant helmet, safety goggles, long-sleeved shirt, long pants, boots with upper ankle support, and gloves.
- Don’t ride on paved roads except to cross.ATV’s are intended to be used for off-road purposes.
- Never operate ATV’s while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Do not exceed the passenger capacity when operating an ATV.
- Operate ATV’s that are specifically designed for your age group.
- Supervise under-age riders (i.e., 16 years or less).While ATV’s are fun recreational vehicles, they are not toys!
- Understand the ATV’s operating capacity and limitations and use designated trails at safe speeds.
The ATV Safety Institute offers a hands-on ATV course along with a free E-Course. You can visit ATVsafety.org or call 800-887-2887 to find out more.
Alliance Safety Council (ASC). n.d. Off The Job Safety, ATV Safety, Learn the rules of off-road. Available from: https://www.alliancesafetycouncil.org/Off-The-Job-Safety/ATVSafety
ATV Safety Institute (ASI). 2017. The ATV Safety Institute’s Golden Rules. Available from: https://atvsafety.org/the-golden-rules/