ATV Safety for Riding Off-Road

Published 06/04 2014 02:15PM

Updated 06/04 2014 02:27PM

Although ATV's or four-wheelers can be a lot of fun, they can also be very dangerous when proper safety measures are ignored.  There have already been 8 serious ATV accidents reported in our area since March.

WFFT's Tara Petitt spoke with an expert on how you can stay safe and still have fun while riding off-road.

"People look at these as toys and they're not toys."

Rob Arms is the Owner of R&D Motorsports in Columbia City.  Although he believes ATV's are very safe, he says you have to take proper precautions when riding.

"You have to respect the product.  I mean, I could sell you a little 49 CC Scooter and you could still get hurt on it."

According to the DNR, there were 220 deaths reported in Indiana between 1982 and 2011 involving ATV accidents. 
More than 100,000 injuries were reported nationwide in 2012.
About 25% of those injuries involved children under that age of 16.
On average, 568 adults and 144 children die each year in America due to ATV related accidents.

Rob says there are many common mistakes that lead to death or injury.

"There's a lot of mistakes made.  Not having the proper safety equipment.  A helmet is first and foremost.  You always wanna wear long pants, boots, and a helmet.  The other mistake is a lot of times having children operate these being unsupervised.  Many many times I'll look in neighborhoods and I'll see kids out riding ATV's without no helmet and sometimes even with two people on the quad."

Although they can be dangerous if you're not careful, Rob says they can also be safe and a great tool to teach children how to drive.

"It teaches them mechanics.  It teaches them how to operate machinery at young ages.  I think it also makes them even better drivers as they get older."

Safety tips to remember.
Always wear a helmet.
Wear eye protection, long sleeves, long pants, and boots.
Have proper supervision.
Match your skill level with proper ATV.
Never ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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