How to stay safe when driving ATVs and UTVs

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(WZDX) — There are several easy ways for people to stay safe when riding an ATV or UTV. One of the biggest things for people to know is that one size doesn’t fit all.

Freedom Powersports Sales Manager, Louis Yarborough, said, “First and foremost, make sure that the age is appropriate for the vehicle. They’ve got different age ranges starting at age six for ATVs.”

On Wednesday, 14-year-old Kathryn Baker was killed in a UTV accident. Limestone County Coroner, Mike West, says Baker was driving a UTV with a cage and wasn’t wearing a seat belt. The 6-year-old who was in the UTV with her was wearing a seatbelt and is okay.

Yarborough says riding UTVs and ATVs can be dangerous for anyone, and that kids need to know the rules, too.

“Kids don’t look at how deep the water is. They just go in the water, or how steep the rock is. They just climb over it. Where, as we get older, we think more about those things,” said Yarborough.

Before getting on any of these vehicles, you need to put on clothes that cover your body, over the ankle boots, gloves, and a helmet.

Freedom Powersports Parts & Accessories Manager, Taylor Pugh, said, “Having a good helmet is not important enough. It needs to be sized correctly. A helmet should be pushed against your cheeks and feel like a good fitting hat around the top of the head. If it’s too big, if you hit the ground, what’s going to happen is the helmets going to move and your head’s going to stay stationary.”

An important rule to follow is to never carry more than one person on a single-rider ATV, and in case something does happen, it’s important to have on safety gear.

“Safety gear can definitely save a life, um, having a good neck protector and head protector. Those are two of the more major injuries. Having that neck collar and that helmet can definitely save you from having a, you know, a life threatening brain injury,” said Pugh.

To take an online safety course, click here.

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