It is the responsibility of all ATV and UTV operators to make the sport a safe one. Brush up on safety tips before heading out for the holiday weekend. / Photo Credit: iStock/wundervisuals
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking ATV and UTV operators to ride safely this Fourth of July weekend.
When out with family and friends for off-road rides and adventures, wearing a helmet and seat belt, monitoring speed and brushing up on safety best practices could save your life.
So far this year, 17 people have died in ATV/UTV crashes. Of the 5 fatal UTV crash victims, none were wearing helmets and 4 of 5 did not wear seat belts. Of the 12 fatal ATV crash victims, 10 were not wearing helmets.
“The Fourth of July holiday weekend is often a busy time on our trails and road routes,” said Lt. Martin R. Stone, DNR Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator. “This year, 12 of the 17 fatal crashes so far occurred on public roads or routes. We want everyone to stay safe out there; familiarizing yourself with ATV-UTV laws and safe operation practices is a must before you head out.”
SAFETY TIPS & SAFETY COURSE
When used safely, ATVs and UTVs provide fun, family recreation and are a valuable tool for working or exploring the outdoors. However, these vehicles are powerful and can be dangerous and even fatal. It is the responsibility of all ATV and UTV operators to make the sport a safe one.
Follow these tips for a safe ride:
Never consume alcohol or drugs before or during your ride.
Wear a seat belt and a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet.
In addition to a seat belt and helmet, wear protective clothing such as eye protection, gloves, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt.
Keep your speed in check for the terrain, visibility conditions and your experience.
Remember that some terrain in Wisconsin is too steep for ATV/UTVs. Please be careful while traversing hills or uneven terrain.
ATV and UTV operators born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, who are at least 12 years old for an ATV (and at least 16 years old for UTV) must complete an ATV safety certification course to operate in Wisconsin (exception: on private property owned by operator’s immediate family).
Wisconsin law requires every operator involved in a crash incident to report the incident without delay to law enforcement officials. In addition, within 10 days of the incident, the operator must submit a written report to the DNR.