Kids and ATVs: 5 Safety Tips for the Adventurous Family
Unfortunately, personal injury law firms see many accidents that happen to families, including children, that happen during the most innocent of fun activities. If your family enjoys a little adventure such as riding all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, here are some key tips to keep in mind for families to stay safe while bonding and avoid that call to a personal injury law firm.
Sign them up for the proper safety training.
Like many U.S. states, Oregon requires that all ATV operators must have an ATV Safety Education Card in their possession while riding an ATV on public land. The process to receive a card is quite simple. Riders age 16 and over simply complete a cost-free online course and test, and riders younger than 16 must complete a hands-on course on top of the online course. If you are riding and don’t have your card with you, no matter your age you or your guardian may be written up by law enforcement.
2. Make it clear which areas are safe for operating an ATV.
There’s a good reason the areas in which you can legally operate an ATV are restricted. For one, the vast majority of ATVs are not road-safe. Their small size and lack of signalling capabilities can mean they’re susceptible to causing truck accidents or motor vehicle accidents when on the road that can seriously injure them. Secondly, you don’t necessarily know what lies off-map of approved trails and areas. There could be construction, a conservation area, or dangerous landscape. When letting kids explore, make sure they’re aware of the riding boundaries.
3. Insist they wear the proper equipment.
A helmet and goggles are absolutely essential for safety reasons. In fact, by law in Oregon all riders under the age of 18 MUST wear a helmet. Many avid ATV riders will tell you that gloves and boots are ideal, as well. Depending on how roughly your family rides and how young your children are, you could keep clothing casual and practical, or go all-out with protective gear. Be sure that your child is physically the right size for the ATV they will be riding to minimize risk of accidents and injury.
4. Practice good supervision, always.
Watching your child as they learn the ropes is so important. If your child is under the age of 16, when riding they must be supervised by an adult over the age of 18 who also has an ATV Safety Education Card. If the child is not being properly supervised, they or their guardian can actually be written up with a traffic violation by law enforcement. Be there to teach them good habits, and help them understand that not everyone around them will follow those same good habits.
5. Teach them the dangers of operating under the influence.
Drunk driving is a huge topic these days, especially among teens. Besides alcohol, drugs in general are involved in around 16% of motor vehicle crashes. Schools, parents, and communities beat statistics like this into teenagers’ heads in the hopes they won’t be one of the victims or perpetrators of drunk or high driving. Use this same caution in warning your child about the dangers of operating an ATV under the influence. Even if they’re not on the road, unsafe and distracted driving can mean disaster and tragedy.
Consider these tips in the hopes you won’t need the services of a personal injury law firm for yourself or your child, but rest assured that if the absolute worst occurs, Travis Mayor is the Oregonian personal injury attorney who has your back. If you or your child are injured in an accident involving ATVs, don’t hesitate to contact Mayor Law, LLC.