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All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Tips for Texas Drivers

It's a beautiful sunny day, perfect weather for some All-Terrain Vehicle driving to make the most of the gorgeous weather! So if you're planning on going out riding your four-wheeler over the coming year, it's important that you're safe and know all you need to know about being safe on your ATV.

ATVs, or All Terrain Vehicles, are small, motorized vehicles with 4, or sometimes 3, wheels. They also have large, low-pressure tires, and are designed to mainly be used by one driver in off-road areas, and off public roads. They are generally not safe for children or even young teenagers, as they don't often have the strength and skill to fully steer and handle them properly, however, a lot of children and teenagers are still using them, and more and more youths are finding themselves injured each year after an incident involving ATVs.

In Canada alone, nearly 25% of deaths and more than a third of serious injuries related to ATVs are amongst children who are under the age of 15, some ATV related injuries have even been found amongst children as young as 1 year old.

With such frightening statistics, the first important tip you should know is to never let your children use ATV's alone. Nowadays you can buy ATVs that are specially designed to carry a passenger, but single driver ATVs must not, under any circumstances, carry a passenger. Extra weight on an ATV designed only for one passenger can affect the balance of the vehicle, and make it difficult for the driver to keep control. If the child is under 16 years of age, they must never ride as a passenger on a 2 person ATV.

You should always take an approved, hands on training course before using an ATV. Remember, the Texas ATV Law restricts ATV drivers on property owned or leased by the state or a political subdivision of the state, including public parks, recreation areas, hunting lands or public roadways. The State of Texas also has certification requirements. A driver must attend a Texas state-approved ATV rider certification course before driving on public lands.

Without the appropriate training, you are not only putting yourself at risk, but the people around you too, so it's always essential that before you go off road in your AVT, you know exactly what you're doing and have a feel for all of the controls. Remember; you are more likely to be seriously injured on an ATV if you don't fully know how to use it properly, so set a good example of behavior for those around you, especially younger children who may be more impressionable.

Of course when you're riding an ATV, it is imperative you always wear the correct safety clothing, a helmet is an ATV safety essential, never ride without one, it could make the difference between life and death. Also, don't neglect other vulnerable parts of your body, so always wear the correct boots, along with other safety pads in order to make sure you are fully protected when riding.

Make sure when you're driving your ATV, that you are on the appropriate surface for your ATV, never ride on paved surfaces as it can seriously affect your handling, and send you spinning towards pedestrians or anyone else who might be around. Riding responsibly is not only important for your own safety, but for the safety of other trails users.

It's always important to take care when driving an ATV, never drive or be a passenger on a single driver ATV, never drive an ATV without experience and training, always wear safety gear and always inspect your ATV before riding it. It's the simple things that make the difference, and sometimes simply being aware can make a massive difference.

Learn more ATV driver safety tips at the Nation Safety Commission.

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Blogger Dennis said...

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April 5, 2010 at 8:44 AM  

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