Panic, fear, agonizing pain…. Fun? Most likely, not. Goofing around and taking risks can seem fun and exciting, but especially when you’re dealing with large machines such as ATVs, it only takes a second for things to go terribly wrong.
Recently, I was out riding at the Sand Dunes. After about an hour of riding around, I went back to the parking lot to rest and get some training course materials. While in the parking area, another car pulled up and two people got out and started unloading their vehicles. As an ASI Instructor, I was pleased to see the first person get out in her proper riding gear and put on gloves and a helmet before getting on her bike. However, I was surprised to see the other walk out to his quad wearing a tee-shirt and start it up. Thinking maybe he would put on his PPE after unloading the quad (which still is not recommended), I kept about my business. It wasn’t until I heard the engine gun that I looked up in time to see him peel out in the parking area and roll his ATV. It was a scary sight and for those crazy few seconds all I could think about was the need to call 911 and provide First Aid. Luckily, the man was able to roll out of the way of his ATV and came up without any major injuries. After checking his ATV and getting it to start again, the two rode off into the Dunes without another word. After they left, I couldn’t help but think…. Is it worth it?
Risky tricks and showing off can seem fun and sometimes it can be harmless, but is it worth your health or even your life? The man I saw was lucky. According to ATVsafety.gov in 2009 there was an estimated total of 781 ATV related deaths and 115,000 estimated ATV related emergency-room treated injuries in 2010. Not all of these deaths and injuries are the results of risky riding or not wearing proper safety gear, but a high percentage of them probably are.
ATV riding is fun and can be a great experience, especially if you don’t wind up in the emergency room. There is tons of space to explore and many trails to ride on. However, injury or death while riding is not a good experience and hopefully one that you never have. Safe riding is fun.
|A Properly Outfitted Rider Having a Blast!|
Remember, Nevada Outdoor School offers multiple avenues to ATV safety. For more information, check our website or call us at 775-623-5656.
story by Jive
story by Jive