ATV Safety is the driver's responsibility - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ATV Safety is the driver's responsibility

June 26, 2006

Decatur County --  According to the ATV Safety Institute, more than 90% of all Al  Terrain Vehicle related fatalities are because riders didn't follow simple rules.

Almost nine of ten youth ATV related injuries happen when a child is operating an adult sized ATV. Every child under the age of 16 should be supervised.         

Riding All-Terrain Vehicles can be a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous if you don't follow some simple rules. "Never drink and drive while you're operating an ATV, don't ride too fast for your skills or the condition, always wear a helmet, read your owner's manual," says Brian Miller of Southern Power Sports.

An ATV is for a single rider, you should never carry a passenger and appropriate clothing should be worn, in addition to a helmet, long sleeves and pants are a must.

Another must obeying the rules of the road. "You need to make sure that you stop at stop signs and observe the rules of the road, while you're crossing that road," says Captain George Whittaker of the GSP Safety Division in Donalsonville.

In fact, in Georgia it's illegal to ride an ATV on any road, dirt or paved, unless it's for hunting or agricultural needs, and it's bad for the ATV. "They'll wear the tires out prematurely by riding on asphalt and hard surfaces," says Miller.

The ATV should also be appropriate for the size of the rider. No one under 16 is permitted to operate an ATV over 90 cc's and parents should always supervise. Whittaker says, "It's not a toy, and often when children use these ATV's they just really are not accustomed to driving, and they think of them as a toy." 

Many ATV retailers have information about safety courses available in your area and most ATV's now come with a safety video that provides riders with tips to keep you safe during your next ride.

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