All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Safety Tips
Larry D. Jones, MPH, Health Director
October 31, 2011
Like other activities involving high speeds and heavy machinery, riding an ATV can be risky. To help stay safe, follow common sense safety tips. ATVs can be fun but can also be dangerous if you do not follow safety tips. From 2007-2009 there were 67 reported deaths from ATVs.
In the State of Missouri the law requires:
· All riders (passengers and operator) under age 18 must wear a helmet at all times.
· All ATVs must be titled and registered; registration renewal is once every three years.
· No one younger than age 16 may register an ATV.
· ATV use on highways is prohibited, except for agricultural or industrial purposes.
· No one younger than age 16 may operate an ATV unless on a parent’s land or accompanied by a parent.
· Passengers may not be carried except for agricultural purposes and except for ATVs designed to carry more than one person.
Take knowledge to the extreme and learn more about these important tips for safer riding:
· Get trained
· Wear a helmet
· No children on adult ATVs
· Don’t ride tandem
· Don’t ride on pavement
· Don’t ride under the influence
Formal training teaches drivers how to control ATVs in typical situations. Drivers with formal, hands-on ATV training have a lower injury risk than drivers with no formal training. To find a local training visit ATVsafety.org
Gear Protective Gear:
Many ATV injuries are head injuries. Wearing a helmet may reduce the severity of these injuries. Select a motorcycle or other motorized sports helmet and make sure the helmet is certified by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and/or the Snell Memorial Foundation. In addition, wear over-the-ankle boots, goggles, gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt to protect against cuts, abrasions, and other injuries from rocks, trees, and other debris.
Do not drive ATVs with a passenger:
The majority of ATVs are designed to carry only one person. ATVs are designed for interactive riding – drivers must be able to shift their weight freely in all directions, depending on the situation and terrain. Interactive riding is critical to maintaining safe control of an ATV especially on varying terrain. Passengers can make it difficult for drivers to control the ATV.
Do not drive ATVs on paved roads:
ATVs – because of how they’re made – are difficult to control on paved roads. Collisions with cars and other vehicles also can be deadly. Many fatalities involving ATVs occur on paved roads.
Do not let Children drive adult ATVs:
Children are involved in about one-third of all ATV-related deaths and hospital emergency room injuries. Most of these deaths and injuries occur when a child is driving or riding on an adult ATV. Children younger than age 16 on adult ATVs are twice as likely to be injured as those riding youth ATVs.
Do not drive ATVs under the influence:
Alcohol and drugs impair reaction time and judgment, two essential skills for safe ATV use.