The popularity of all-terrain vehicles or ATVs has risen in recent years along with the injuries and fatalities associated with riding them. While ATV insurance is not exactly like auto insurance, it can afford the rider some of the same protection. Because injuries are widespread throughout the U.S., the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) most recent report shows that with the increasing use of all-terrain vehicles, following proper ATV safety, especially in the agricultural community, is vital.
According to the IIHS, though the agricultural community represents about one in five riders, it also accounts for more than two out of every three fatalities, which equals 65 percent of all deaths. Although an alarming statistic, this does not necessarily mean that all-terrain vehicles used for agriculture are more dangerous than those used for other purposes, such as recreational.
In fact, this may not be the case at all. Rather, it may simply be that these individuals are not following proper ATV safety to avoid crashing and injuring themselves. The consensus is that it might be related to a greater lack of caution by ignoring the risk of potentially dangerous consequences. The reason could also be that riders of ATVs performing agricultural tasks put themselves in more difficult situations to complete those tasks, which may involve rapid, sharp turns, higher speeds, and heading up and down slopes or treacherous terrain.
The problem is, more often than not, these riders do not wear helmets or other appropriate attire to minimize injuries, leaving themselves highly vulnerable to possible life-threatening medical situations. ATV riding safety is no joke. It has to be taken seriously and below are a few safety tips you may want to consider. They don’t only apply to agricultural use.
1. Wear a helmet – This is the most important piece of equipment you can wear. It can protect you in the event of a roll-over or just falling off at high speed. A broken arm or leg can heal – a brain won’t.
2. Wear the proper attire – You don’t have to suit up as if you’re racing. But, you may want to cover yourself up somewhat just in case you’d like to keep scrapes and bruises to a minimum if you lose control.
3. Don’t push it – In other words, if you’re a new rider, start with tips #1 and #2, then proceed with caution. Don’t drive above your limits and riding skills. That goes for the ATV your riding as well. Stay away from jumps and other stunts. More experienced riders should also keep this tip in mind
4. Avoid riding alone – In most states, riders under 16 must be supervised by an adult. You may not like it, but it’s always a good idea if your injuries prevent you from calling for help.
5. Prepare for the unforeseen – Never assume nothing is ever going to happen to you when riding your ATV. Expect the unexpected.
6. Only approved ATVs can take passengers – If your ATV is not rated for more than one rider, don’t take a passenger. It can throw the handling, stability, and center of gravity off…along with you if you go against this tip.
7. Keep a first aid kit on board – It’s always a good idea to take a little precaution and carry a first aid kit with you for minor scrapes and bruises.
8. Buy ATV insurance – This is both for you and your ATV. Similar to auto insurance, it will protect your vehicle as well as paying for any medical expenses you incur as a result of injuring yourself. Furthermore, it can also protect you from liability if you take out someone’s fence or other property in the process.
By following these simple tips you may not completely be out of harm’s way, but it can, hopefully, help reduce your chances of getting injured.
Whether you’re riding an ATV or in your car, you want to make sure you’re getting the best rate on your auto insurance or ATV insurance. Why not get a free auto insurance quote or ATV insurance quote today?
If you ride an ATV, do you follow any safety rules? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.