Recent death spurs warnings of ATV dangers

The recent death of a beloved Warren teenager who was riding with another person on an ATV when they struck a utility pole in the city should serve as a stark reminder of the dangers of riding.

Sadly, the crash claimed the life of a promising Warren G. Harding student and active member of the community.

Of course, youthful exuberance is understandable. We all can expect that young people often will live in the moment without giving a second thought to possible longterm repercussions. That’s why it’s so important that we, as adults, always remind them. It’s why we thought this horrible incident presented an opportunity to review important safety guidelines that come with riding an all-terraine vehicle.

The ATV Safety Institute’s “Golden Rules of ATV safety” include the following important items.

Regarding attire, always wear a Department of Transportation compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots and gloves.

The safety institute advises riders never to ride ATVs on paved roads except when crossing safely and only when permitted by law. ATVs are designed to be operated off-highway. In fact, they should be ridden only on designated trails and at a safe speed.

Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV and no more than one passengar on an ATV that has been specifically designed for two people.

Ride an ATV that is right for your age. Riders who are younger than 16 must be supervised. Remember, ATVs are not toys.

Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

And a hands-on ATV rider course or free online e-course is always recommended before riding. For information, visit ATVsafety.org or call 800-887-2887.

Of course, accidents always can happen; however, following these rules and being educated on ATV safety could diminish the possibility of serious injury.

Sadly, last month we lost a teen described as an “exceptional young man.” Maybe by reviewing these safe-riding guidelines with our children and young people, we can prevent another promising young person’s future from being cut short.