The Roundup -

ATV & Side-by-Side Safety

 

ATVs & Side-by-Sides are not toys. Serious injury can result from improper use of them, but with preparation and practice, you can safely develop and expand your driving/riding skills. Riding ATVs & Side-by-Sides can be an enjoyable form of outdoor recreation when done properly. They can also be used for agricultural or utility use.

Take a course on ATV or Side-by-Side safety; always wear a helmet and proper personal safety equipment; read, understand and follow the owner’s manual and safety warnings; never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

According to ATVSafety.gov: “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.

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. 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.

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.”

When operating a Side-by-Side, make sure all manufacturer’s recommended safety information is followed. Keep all body parts inside and safety belts worn.

Familiarize yourself with the vehicle before you ride; know the terrain you are going to be riding in. Be aware of your surroundings and weather conditions. Don’t ride alone and let others know where you are going and your estimated time of return. Respect the property of others, know where you can ride and never trespass on personal property without written permission.

Please remember ATVs & Side-by-Sides are not safe to drive on roads occupied by vehicles. The increase in traffic in our area and numerous distractions taking attention away from the driver’s task at hand increases your chances of injury or death.

 

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