Know Your Limits: Learn to Ride, Ride to Live

Posted by: Kathryn Frakes  | Friday, September 25, 2015

During the fall season, my family loves to spend time riding ATV’s. As parents, Jodi and I want to ensure the safety of our boys at all times, and while we understand there are risks involved with this activity, by staying educated and getting certified we can mitigate those risks significantly.

Thanks to the educational efforts of many and an increased awareness of ATV safety, the numbers continue to decline for injuries and deaths associated with ATV use. However, one incident is still too many, especially if it could have been prevented. There are several practices you can follow to reduce the risks of accidents, and since it is perfect riding weather outside right now, I wanted to provide you with some of those safety tips.

ATVs, which are designed to be ridden off road, behave differently on paved surfaces, so it’s important to always use extreme caution when crossing a paved road. Before you ride, always make sure you are wearing safety gear and other essentials like long sleeves, pants and boots. For extra protection, wear a chest protector along with shin and elbow guards. Taking precaution and wearing protective equipment is part of being a safe rider.

While wearing protection is important, it is also essential to know how to properly operate the vehicle as well as know your limits on an ATV. Indiana offers an approved rider education course. The course provides videos which feature educators and up‐to‐date scenarios that give you one of the most effective ways to learn safe riding practices. This is a great way for Hoosiers to ride smart. To learn more about safe ATV operation and the safety course, please visit www.offroad-ed.com/indiana.

Additionally, to spread awareness, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) launched their Learn to Ride, Ride to Live campaign. With the help from the Reyling family, who unfortunately lost a son in an ATV accident, the DNR unveiled an ATV safety truck here in our community. The truck will drive throughout the state as well, attending events and parades to bring awareness to the importance of ATV education safety.

Ultimately, it is imperative that we know our limits, take extra precautions and continue to practice safe riding at all times. Too many people have lost their lives in ATV accidents, and there is no better time to spread awareness than the present.

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Rep. Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.