LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Ark. Children's Hospital) - People all over Arkansas have an ATV they love to ride, but there are some important safety tips to keep in mind from Arkansas Children's Hospital.
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV) are very popular among young people, especially those living in rural areas. As the popularity of ATVs has risen, so too have the number of deaths and injuries to people of all ages. Arkansas Children's Hospital admits more than one child a week for ATV-related injuries, and many more are treated in emergency departments and clinics statewide.
Always plan your T.R.I.P.S.S
- Training - Take an ATV Safety Institute ATV RiderCourse. Contact your local University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service 4-H coordinator at www.uaex.edu for classes.
- Ride Off-Road - Always ride on unpaved trails. The tires on ATVs are not made for paved or loose gravel roads. If you drive on these roads, you could lose control of the ATV and flip over or crash.
- Impairment Danger - Driving an ATV takes all of your focus. Alcohol and other drugs can lower your judgment, blur your vision, and slow your reaction time.
- Plan Ahead - Plan your trip before you ride by looking at the area for wire fencing, tree stumps, and other dangers. Let someone know where you are going and when you'll be back.
- Single Rider - Most ATVs are made for one rider only. Drive without passengers.
- Safety Equipment - Ride your ATV only when wearing a helmet, boots, long pants, long sleeve shirt, and gloves.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under 16-years-old do not ride ATVs. Whatever your family decides, please consider the following recommendations:
- ATV Safety Institute ATV RiderCourse - A hands-on class is recommended for all family members who ride. Contact your local University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service 4-H coordinator at www.uaex.edu for classes.
- Direct Supervision for Young Riders - Parents or other adults need to supervise children under the age of 16.
- House Rules - Parents or other adults should set an example for safe ATV use.
- Control the Key - Keep the ATV key under lock until adults can supervise them.
- Helmets for every rider!
(Source: Arkansas Children's Hospital)