IRVINE, Calif., July 1, 2010 — Under a sky filled with fireworks and smelling of BBQs, millions of Americans will celebrate the upcoming Fourth of July weekend behind the handlebars of their ATVs. With more than 35 million riders operating over 10 million ATVs across the U.S., understanding the importance of safe and responsible riding techniques is essential. Both riders and non-riders can benefit from knowing the ATV Safety Institute’s eight Golden Rules to keep themselves, their friends and their families safe on our Independence Day.
“Leave the spectacles to the professional fireworks displays. Riding an ATV should be about riding safe while having fun, not riding recklessly or showing off,” said Paul Vitrano, Executive Vice President of the ATV Safety Institute. “On the weekend when we celebrate our nation’s independence, as with every other weekend, Americans should ride responsibly to preserve the freedom of riding that we all love and share. With our tips and practice guide, available at www.atvsafety.org, hands-on ATV RiderCourseSM and online E-Course, there are many easily accessible ways to learn about having fun safely.”
The ATV Safety Institute urges all riders to follow the warning labels on each vehicle, never ride on public roads or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, and not carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV. Of course, riders should always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
Young riders who are out of school for the summer, having more time to ride, are especially vulnerable to certain types of crashes when not following proper safety rules. Nearly 90 percent of youth ATV-related injuries occur when a youth is operating an adult-sized ATV. Parents should supervise children under the age of 16 at all times while they operate an appropriately-sized ATV, and manage when the vehicle can be used by removing the ignition key. By controlling the means to start the ATV, parents are literally holding the key to their child’s safety.
Consumer Product Safety Commission data show that 92 percent of all ATV-related fatalities are the result of warned-against behaviors. The ATV Safety Institute has eight Golden Rules of ATV safety that address these behaviors and apply to all riders:
1. Always wear a helmet and other protective gear.
2. Never ride on public roads – another vehicle could hit you.
3. Never ride under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
4. Never carry a passenger on a single-rider vehicle.
5. Ride an ATV that’s right for your age.
6. Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.
7. Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
Also this summer, students ages six to 18 can enter the “Do the Ride Thing” video contest, in which they can create a 30- or 60- second video highlighting one of the ASI’s Golden Rules to be used as a public service announcement by the ATV Safety Institute. With the potential to win one of 10 prizes totaling $10,000, youths have the opportunity to educate their peers on how to ride safe/ride smart. For official video content requirements, contest rules and entry forms, visit www.atvsafety.org.
The ATV Safety Institute encourages families to talk about household rules for ATV riding, even if they don’t own one, so that everyone in the family can enjoy a safe, fun July Fourth.
The All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute® develops rider training programs and promotes the safe and responsible use of ATVs. The ASI works to reduce crashes and injuries resulting from improper ATV use. Formed in 1988, the ASI is a not-for-profit division of the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America®. For safety information or to enroll in the ATV RiderCourseSM nearest you, visit www.atvsafety.org or call (800) 887-2887.
The Specialty Vehicle Institute of America® promotes the safe and responsible use of all-terrain vehicles through rider training, public awareness campaigns and state legislation. Additionally, the SVIA works to preserve access to off-road lands and expand riding opportunities. The SVIA is a resource for ATV research, statistics and vehicle standards. Accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the SVIA develops standards for the equipment, configuration and performance requirements of ATVs.