All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV): ATV use has rapidly become popular in both recreation and work, especially on the farm. ATVs can reach speeds of 75 mph and weigh an average of 500-800 lbs. ATV’s should not be considered toys and children under age 12 should not operate or ride one; they lack the size and strength to safely control an ATV.
- Before you or your teenager operates an ATV thoroughly read the owner’s manual. Take a hands-on training course from an experienced and qualified instructor before riding the ATV.
- ATVs have unique handling characteristics that require operators to shift their weight and position on the seat to maintain balance and control; thus, an ATV should be ridden with care and never with more than one rider. Additionally, before you operate an ATV make certain you are wearing the proper attire: a helmet, gloves, long pants, boots, and eye protection. At all times, ATV operators need to be clear-headed. Never operate an ATV after drinking alcohol, taking drugs, or while drowsy.
- Riders need to use caution when riding near roadways as ATVs are small and low to the ground and they are not as visible as larger vehicles. Be aware of your surroundings and make the ATV more visible by using lights, reflectors, and highly noticeable flags.
- To reduce the risk of a rollover, pay attention to the landscape on which you will be traveling. Features such as gravel roads, slopes, ditches, blind intersections, trees, and shrubs continue to be risk factors in ATV-related accidents and deaths. Open fields and gravel roads are not safe areas to drive ATVs at a high-rate of speed.
Riding an ATV can be dangerous and it is important to balance the risk and pleasure of riding to ensure a safe and enjoyable outing. Safe operation of an ATV by individuals over the age of 12 will reduce the risk of injury or death.