ATV Safety: Summer Fun Without The Risk
As summer quickly approaches here in Florida, and springtime temperatures are (finally) here to stay it seems, recreational vehicle owners throughout the area are coming out in droves to enjoy the sunshine, the fresh air, and the FUN that comes from being in the outdoors. ATV owners are no exception, and many of them are dusting off their equipment and hitting the nearby fields, trails, or even beaches for hours of fun and exploration. However, this fun can come at a high cost if you don’t take the proper precautions with your ATV. Florida ranks third in the US for ATV accidents each year, and sadly, many of the fatalities are those of children and minors. Many times, this is due to lack of equipment and/or safety precautions that could have saved a life, so it’s worth taking time to educate yourself.
Here are some things you need to know before hitting the trail:
- Age matters. Young children (and even youth) are not mature enough (even if physically large enough) to effectively and responsibly handle a vehicle of such magnitude as an ATV. No different than a motorcycle, or even a small car, an ATV can cause serious injury or death and should be treated with respect. While it might be ok to let your young person practice in a safe environment under close supervision, any driving on or near roadways, on trails with varying terrain, etc. should be handled by an adult.
- Wear a helmet! Drivers AND passengers of all ages should wear a helmet when driving an ATV. While not the “law” for an adult to be wearing head protection, it goes without saying that if you truly want to drive responsibly, a helmet is part of that when on an ATV, motorcycle, or similar vehicle. Helmets save lives daily, and it’s not worth taking the risk of going without one.
- Take it slow. Yes, it’s more fun to blaze the trails at a high speed, but failing to heed to the layout of the land and traveling too quickly can have disastrous results. Save the fun of going fast for open fields (as long as it’s safe to do so!) and use the wisdom of slowing down and taking your time on trails or when driving in areas you aren’t familiar with. One unexpected muddy area, drop off, or rock in the road could cost you much more than a few seconds of time spent by slowing down.
We encourage you to get out and have fun this spring and summer, and by using the tips above, you can do so knowing that you are protecting yourself and the ones you care about while enjoying your time outdoors. While thinking about safety, consider the importance of “insuring your fun” when you purchase coverage for your ATV, and make sure the policy you opt for is adequate to cover potential needs that could come up. Carroll Marshall Insurance is here to help you make the right decision, so give us a call!