ATV: Safety Points to Remember

ATV’s (All Terrain Vehicles) have been given the reputation of being dangerous, because each year more and more adults and children have been seriously injured or killed whilst riding such vehicles. But just like any other vehicle an ATV can be dangerous in much the same way as a car, sports utility vehicle, motorcycles or trucks are. Often accidents which involve an ATV occur due to them being used improperly or by ignorance on the part of the rider. IN fact there is no guarantee that you will not be injured whilst riding on an ATV, in much the same way as there is no guarantee that you will not be injured whilst in a car; however, there are safety precautions that should be taken which will help to minimize this risk.

Firstly, no one under the age of 16 should be allowed to ride a full sized ATV and this recommendation has been put forward by the American Academy of Pediatrics and should be read as the law. The reason why children under the age of 16 should not be riding a full size ATV is that they have not developed the necessary skills for operating such machinery and if your child is interested in riding an ATV, you will find that many manufacturers have produced ones that have less powerful engines. Before you allow your child to ride an ATV you must ensure that they are aware of the correct rules and procedures for operating such vehicles. You will find that there are many training courses available which will teach you the correct procedures for driving an ATV across the country and it is a good idea to enroll on one prior to operating your ATV.

At all times a rider should where the correct protective gear, which should include helmet, gloves, boots and eye protection so that their body is protected from any hazards that will occur whilst out riding or any potential accident.

Most ATV accidents occur when there is one or more person on the vehicle and as they have been specifically designed for use by one person only, by having the weight of two people on the ATV it is likely to cause it to turn over. Also being distracted by the passenger on the ATV could cause an accident. Never ride a ATV on hard surfaces such as concrete or asphalt as they have been specifically designed for off road use only, not only do you have the added hazard of dealing with cars and trucks on a road, but you will also find the ATV does not perform as well on a hard surface and it may in fact be very difficult to control.

In fact many accidents that have been reported when some is using an ATV is because of the driver using the vehicle improperly, this includes such things as riding at high speeds, not be able to control the vehicle over dangerous and difficult terrain, or they interact dangerously with other individuals or ATV’s. Always remember that an ATV has been designed to be used on certain terrain at certain speeds and at all times speeding should be avoided since this may cause the vehicle to tip over or crash. Also avoid carrying out any stunts or tricks whilst on ATV.

If you are going away from home using your ATV then ensure that you have some form of communication device with you such as a walkie talkie or a mobile phone for calling for help during an emergency.

Allison Thompson who now resides in Spain has set up a site with her husband Mark dedicated to ATV’s provided the latest information on the various makes and models and provided hints and tips on maintenance and safety. If you would like to learn more about this form of transport then please visit [].

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