All Terrain Vehicles are motorized vehicles with large, low-pressure tires, and are designed for off-road use. They can weigh over 1,000 pounds and some can travel up to 75 mph! ATV's have become increasingly popular in the last decade, and provide fun and recreation for enthusiasts, speed for racing, and play an important role in rural rescue and fire control as well as agricultural maintenance. In fact, they are so versatile that their uses are practically endless! However, with their increasing popularity has come increasing dangers. In fact, ATV-related deaths have skyrocketed in the past five years! Youth under 16 account for 34% of these injuries. 70% of fatal ATV injuries involve the head and neck. Several risk-factors have been associated with ATV related injuries and deaths, including no helmet use, male gender, risk-taking behavior, having a passenger, and riding an ATV that is too large for the riders age.
The ATV Safety Institute is a non-profit organization that's purpose is to improve the safety of ATV riders through an expanded nationwide ATV safety education program and to promote safe and responsible use of ATV's. The ATV Safety Institute offers these "Golden Rules" of ATV Safety.
The Golden Rules of ATV Safety
- Take an approved training course.
- Ride a Quad that is right for your age. The guidelines are:
Age of rider Engine displacement Age 6 and older Under 70cc Age 12 and older 70cc-90cc Age 16 and older Over 90cc
- Supervise riders younger than 16.
- Always wear the right safety gear, especially a helmet, when you ride.
- Never carry a passenger.
- Never ride on public roads and always avoid paved surfaces.
- Ride only on designated trails and ride responsibly.
ATV Safety Institute RiderCourse
The ASI ATV RiderCourse is a 4 to 5 hour hands-on learning experience, with particular emphasis on the safety implications relating to each lesson. The course also covers protective gear, environmental concerns, Ohio laws and safety techniques.
The training includes pre-ride inspections, starting and stopping, turning (gradual and quick), hills (stopping, u-turns, traversing), emergency stopping and swerving and riding over obstacles. The Portsmouth City Health Department partners with the ATV Safety Institute to provide this RiderCourse by appointment.
The Portsmouth City Health Department employs a Licensed ASI Instructor who works with 4-H and area youth organizations to promote ATV safety. You can call 1-800-877-2887 to locate a class nationally.