RALEIGH COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – With summer just around the corner, more of you will want to take out your ATVs.
While ATVs and side by sides are lots of fun they can also be extremely dangerous and lead to severe injuries if not used properly.
“We get a substantial number of ATV accidents in the summer,” said Assistant Fire Chief Noah Allen of the Wilderness Volunteer Fire Department. “About three weeks ago we had a fatal ATV accident wreck as well in our area here in Mount Nebo. It occurs quite frequently and most of these ATV accidents are completely avoidable.”
To keep you and your family safe you should always wear a helmet and other protective gear just in case you get into an accident.
“Well certainly with an ATV you should certainly have a helmet and even on a side by side you should wear a helmet as well,” said Swampfox Motorsports General Manager Will Smith. “A lot of people don’t think they need a helmet on a side by side, but that doesn’t take into account things that might come into their cage or something like that to protect themselves. So helmets are a big thing, long sleeves, protective leg wear, pants, boots, gloves, eye protection all important safety features.”
It’s also important to understand your level of skill as a rider. Riding over challenging terrain can cause your ATV to roll over and lead to injuries or damage the vehicle.
“It’s another huge problem that people just turn young children lose on ATVs without supervision,” Smith said. “Certainly ATVs are meant to be enjoyed and can be a great time, but just a little bit of common sense a little bit of supervision. Throw the alcohol out do the alcohol another day, wear safety protection and you can have a great time and be safe.”
In West Virginia, riders under the age of 18 must complete an ATV safety course before getting behind the wheel.
For more information on ATV safety or to register for the online course visit the ATV Safety Institute website.