All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are fun, but they are also deadly. They account for approximately 300 injuries or fatalities/year in the United States, 1/3 of these accidents occur in agriculture. (ATV Hazards During Farm Work fact sheet, OSHA3758.pdf, accessed 10/21/21). They can go up to 60 mph and weigh more than 600 pounds, yet they are often thought of as just big toys. Accidents can happen when ATVs are operated in the wrong place, under the wrong conditions, by people too young or inexperienced in ATV safety. Follow these safety tips from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (trauma website www.ota.org).
- Read all instruction manuals and follow the manufacturers’ recommendations for use, maintenance, and pre-use checks.
- Never operate an ATV on a public road.
- Always wear protective gear. Helmets are especially important to prevent a head injury.
- Do not operate at excessive speeds or after dark.
- Do not operate an ATV is you have taken drugs or alcohol.
- ATV drivers should be age 16 or older and never allow additional passengers.