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Off-Road Vehicles are Fun and Useful, but Demand Safety

Off-Road Vehicles are Fun and Useful, but Demand Safety
ATV safety reminders never hurt for children or parents.

My kids got another lecture on safety Easter Sunday – the kind that is provoked because the rules have slacked up a bit on their part and on my part.

Between family gatherings Easter Sunday my kids and my niece were out riding the four-wheelers and dirt bikes, not an unusual occurrence around here.  The windows on the house were open. I could hear them zooming around – two four wheelers, two dirt bikes.

As a Mom, every now and then I do a mental count at the sound of them going past a window: four-wheeler, dirt bike, dirt bike ……… and the other four-wheeler.


But then it got quiet, not unusual either as I figured they had headed back to the woods.  But I stepped out on the porch only to the see the boy headed my way on foot, with that look in his eyes.  You know the one: the deer in the headlights look when their little life just flashed before their eyes. Also known as the "why don't I listen to Mom more" look!

Related: Farm Safety Should Be On Your Mind At All Times

And as they walk toward you and you notice the look in their eye you start the visual scan for triage.  The look in the eye, grass stain on the cheek, grass stain on the shirt (that is a good shirt!) and then you refocus.  Are they holding a limb or limping?  Is there any visual sign of blood?

I have now officially had this experience with all three of my children and am blessed that none have been major – but that isn't always the case and kids need to be reminded of this.  So mine got a good old-fashioned 'Mom lecture' Easter afternoon!

These are the ATV safety rules at our house:

Helmets, helmets, helmets. Wear them or don't ride, get caught once without a helmet on and you're officially parked for a week. The new addendum to the rule, per the helmet flying off during this weekend's crash, is chin strap tight. I thought that was a given but apparently not!

Know where others are. When riding with a group you always have to be aware of where others are, which direction people are going and watch blind corners and coming around buildings.

Common sense. We all possess it so use it. If you have to ask yourself if you really ought to do something, you probably shouldn't.

Wear real shoes. This is a personal pet peeve of mine.  Crocs and flip flops are not appropriate attire to ride in.

I have gone so far as to actually post the rules on the back door so they see them as they walk out.

The opinions of Jennifer Campbell are not necessarily those of Indiana Prairie Farmer or the Penton Farm Progress Group.

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