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Healthy Habits: Experience counts when riding an ATV

Jul. 19, 2013 @ 07:18 AM

The use of ATVs has grown dramatically since they were introduced in the United States in the 1980s.

Just as dramatic though is the rise in annual ATV related deaths. According to reports from the U.S. Consumers Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the number of fatalities has increased from 29 in 1982 to 822 in 2007, which is the last year the CPSC considers reporting complete. The beauty of West Virginia and the entire Appalachian region is often experienced by many on an adventure trail.

However, before you start up your ATV consider these important safety reminders.

n All ATV users should take a hands-on safety training course.

n Always wear a helmet and safety gear such as boots, gloves and eyewear.

n Never drive an ATV on paved roads.

n Never operate an ATV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

n Do not allow children younger than 16 to drive or ride on adult ATVs. Always choose an age-appropriate ATV for your child.

n Never allow a child younger than 6 on an ATV — either as a driver or passenger.

Safety tips for other motorized vehicles like Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROV) are similar to what is recommended for ATVs with a few extra precautions:

n Always fasten seat belts when moving the vehicle.

n Keep all parts of your body inside the ROV.

n Never transport passengers who cannot place both feet on the floorboard with their backs against the seat.

n  Never carry more passengers than there are seat belts and never carry passengers in cargo beds.
Source: Consumers Product Safety Commission and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Healthy Habits 2013 is a partnership among Cabell Huntington Hospital, Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and St. Mary’s Medical Center. We are a community working together to improve our health. Our goal is a simple one: to inform and encourage area residents on ways to improve their health. Join our conversation and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/healthyhabits2013.