ATVs are popular with farm and homeowners alike. Yet many users don’t realize the potential dangers they present if not operated properly. Our reinsurance company Grinnell Mutual offers these helpful guidelines for safe and enjoyable ATV-riding.
Practice ATV safety on your property
In 2015, ATVs accounted for 357 reported deaths nationwide, according to Claims Journal. And the 2015 Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that ATVs accounted for nearly 94,000 emergency room visits in 2014 (the most recent year for which numbers are available). Roughly 26 percent of these were children younger than 16 years of age.
Often, first-time buyers are the victims, who buy, hop on it, and take off without really considering taking safety measures (like helmets) or educating themselves about potential dangers.
Teaching and practicing safety habits will prevent members of your family from becoming a statistic.
1. Inspect the machine
The National Education Center for Agricultural Safety (NECAS) recommends inspecting for the following:
• Are tires and wheels in good condition?
• Are the controls and cable operational?
• Does the chain have proper slack and is it lubricated?
• Is riding gear (including a helmet) available?
2. Never ride on public roads
ATVs are not intended to be used on a public roadway. There have been instances where someone is using the ATV in a farm application and riding in a ditch. The rider pops over the road, doesn’t think to check before crossing the road, and is broadsided, leading to serious injuries or fatalities.
Remember, just as you were taught as kids: If you’re crossing the roadway, please make sure you look both ways before you cross.
3. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider vehicle
ATVs are designed for one person for a reason. Additional riders make it diffucult for the driver to control the vehicle.
4. Ride an ATV that’s right for your age
Follow the manufacturer recommendations for minimum age and riders. Children under the age of 16 should never operate an adult-sized ATV (90cc or greater) and children under the age of 12 should not operate ATVs at all. Supervise riders younger than 16.
5. If you’re a first-time owner, educate yourself.
Read the manual and follow the instructions and recommendations from the manufacturer. They’re there for a reason. Also, check into ATV-riding course in your area.
For more information
To sign up for an ATV RiderCourse in your area, call toll-free at (800) 887-2887 or go to www.atvsafety.org. For more tips for using your farm and recreational vehicles safely, visit the Front Porch blog at grinnellmutual.com. For information on how owning or allowing others to ride ATVs on your property affects your insurance policy, contact Forward Mutual.
This article is taken from helpful information from our reinsurance company Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company. The information was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, however Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company and its employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with any training, materials, suggestions or information provided. It is the user’s responsibility to confirm compliance with any applicable local, state or federal regulations. Information obtained from or via Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company should not be used as the basis for legal advice or other advice, but should be confirmed with alternative sources.