I know this sounds like the usual pessimistic don’t, don’t, don’t of a doctor, but there are actually some useful recommendations I can make to try and keep safe on an ATV.
- - Only one rider to each ATV: the vehicle is meant for one person and the addition of a passenger shifts the center of gravity backwards. This unloads the front axle and hinders steering. I frequently see a pattern of injury where a passenger on the back of the ATV is crushed in a rollover, or a small child in front of the driver is crushed against the handlebars.
At our hospital, we have reached out to the community to keep kids healthy. We have visited health fairs to educate children and parents, and even give away helmets. We won a grant to provide free rider safety courses to a cadre of children each month in the spring and summer. We have been involved with a local recreational area to help plan safe trails, safety regulations, and routes of extrication for air and ground ambulance.
ATVs are a wonderful way to experience the beautiful natural resources of our great country. They have become a staple of outdoor recreational activity for many families. Parents must realize the inherent danger in the activity so they can take safety measures and ensure their children will be there for years to come.
(Images via Wikipedia)