Ride smart to avoid tragedy
WASHINGTON--May 22, 2014: Memorial Day Weekend is tough on all-terrain vehicle riders.
During the four days of the 2013 Memorial Day weekend, there were at least 14 deaths and an estimated 2,850 emergency room treated injuries associated with ATV usage, according to reports gathered by CPSC. Four of the 14 fatalities during that weekend involved children younger than 16. Reports for the four holiday weekends from 2009 to 2012 show a total of more than 73 ATV-related fatalities.
Let's make this year different and this riding season safer, starting with Memorial Day Weekend.
CPSC is urging riders to throttle up safe practices in order to put the brakes on life-altering tragedies. Ride safe by following these basic rules of the trail:
Don't allow children younger than 16 to drive or ride on adult ATVs. Never allow a child younger than 6 to drive or ride on any ATV. Never have more people on the vehicle than it was designed to carry. Always wear a helmet and protective gear when riding any ATV. If the vehicle is designed to carry passengers, make sure they have on protective gear, too. Don't drive an off-road vehicle on paved roads. Take a hands-on safety training course. This is especially important for young or first-time operators.
ROV drivers and riders need to be vigilant this riding season, as well. Overall deaths associated with these powerful machines with car-like seats and steering wheels have reached more than 400 over the past 10 years.
In addition to the tips for ATV riders, ROV drivers and passengers should take these steps:
Never have more passengers than there are seat belts and never carry passengers in cargo beds. Always fasten seat belts and keep all parts of your body inside the vehicle. Never transport passengers who cannot place both feet on the floorboard with their backs against the seat.
And, whether you're operating an ATV or an ROV, drive at a safe speed and use care when turning and crossing slopes.
Ride smart and ride safe to avoid tragedies this weekend and all season long.