AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC)- The use of all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, is on the rise, and along with that comes the increase in accidents. Like any vehicle, it is important to know the proper safety precautions, and that knowledge can save your life.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about one-third of all ATV accidents involve kids. Many of those accidents can be avoided if safety measures are taken into consideration.
All-terrain vehicles can be a source of recreation.
"Parents get these for their children, or for themselves, and let their kids ride these," says Mower County Sheriff Terese Amazi.
They can also be used for agricultural business.
"Well, they'll go use them to go check crops, fix the fence line and so forth," explains Scott Trimble, co-owner of Trimble's Cycle Center in Austin. "You need an agriculture permit to ride in the ditches or alongside the road, you can go farm to farm if farmers have multiple farms."
Either way, the use of ATVs can be dangerous if not used properly. Children are said to be very susceptible to accidents involving the vehicles, but that is not stopping their use.
According to a recent study regarding all-terrain vehicles, over 7 million ATVs are in use in the United States and over 17 million people use them. With those numbers on the rise, the talks of safety are on the rise as well.
"A helmet is always, should always, be worn," says Amazi. "Whether it is a law or not, it does save head injuries. Certainly eye protection and supervision."
The Minnesota DNR offers ATV training classes to anyone over the age of 11, so the opportunity for experience is there. Yet even knowing that, and taking history into account, Amazi advises kids to not operate them.
"It would be to not let them ride them to begin with."
Kids will keep on riding, and adults will never stop pushing for safety.
Like anything involving motorized vehicles, safety is key and the Minnesota DNR takes that very seriously.
They offer numerous safety courses throughout the year, and the dates, times and locations of those can be found on their website.
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