Minnesota has become a hot spot for ATV clubs and riders.
While the thrill of tackling wild terrain and being outdoors offers excitement, it also comes with added risks. While a number of reasons play into an accident happening, five of them tend to top the list.
1. Novice operators
The excitement to get on an ATV often overtakes the safety aspect of this type of adventure. While the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources requires operators complete safety training to ride on public or state lands, waters or trails, private land may require dealing with inexperienced ATV riders.
2. Unfamiliar terrain
Even experienced riders should take their time on a new trail. Any unfamiliar territory may have hidden dangers that could turn the fun into a serious situation. Going slowly the first go around offers an opportunity to scope out the situation.
3. Extra passengers
The design of the ATV determines how many passengers it can have. One extra person has the potential to throw the vehicle off balance. If that happens, both the operator and passenger face increased risk.
4. Property negligence
Gaining permission to ride on a property does not equate to the property being ATV-ready. Owners should regularly inspect the property to ensure no lurking hazards cause injuries. Those hazards include open pits, unsupervised young riders, steep drops and other vehicles.
5. Paved roads
As the name implies, ATVs function best on rugged, bumpy surfaces and not smooth paved roads. If traveling on a paved road, slow down to minimize the risk.
While accidents happen, knowing the potential risks may save a life.