ATV Safety

Every year we hear about tragic accidents on ATV’s.  Reaction is always mixed when discussing the use of these vehicles, but most will agree that with precaution, ATV’s can provide a great deal of recreational pleasure and utility.  As we begin the summer, take time to read these simple safety tips:

Mark Whitt from the University of West Virginia extension service states, “So often, ATV fatalities result from injuries that could have been prevented with proper training and gear,” Whitt said.  He believes by asking the following questions before using any ATV, you can avoid potential danger:

  • Is the person the appropriate size for the machine he or she will use?
  • Is the ATV working correctly?

Additionally, all riders should:

  • Not operate the machine after dark or in poor weather conditions.
  • Wear a U.S. Department of Transportation-approved helmet with eye protection.
  • Wear long pants and long sleeves.
  • Carry a cell phone in case there is a problem.
  • Be over 16 unless supervised by a parent.
  • Never ride on public roads.
  • Never have a passenger on a single rider vehicle.

Many cooperative extension services offer safety courses and information so before you ride, take advantage of the information available.  If you have problems locating one in your area, email us at

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