Wiggins Village in March 2013: Three youths riding on one 4 wheeler lost control and rolled an ATV.
4 Wheeler Safety, LIVINGSTON, October 3, 2013 - As a reporter, I've seen many accidents involving 4 wheelers. Sadly, most of the time it's kids on 4 wheelers that are in serious accidents. I don't know if some parents are oblivious about the danger of kids on 4 wheelers, or if they just don't care, but they let their kids ride 4 wheelers all the time. I covered a 4 wheeler accident one time where there were 5 kids on one 4 wheeler flying over rough terrain. Off the top of my head, I can remember at least three fatal 4 wheeler accidents in Polk County that I've had the misfortune of reporting. Speeding on a 4 wheeler (especially on paved roads) is like twerking, just because you can do it doesn't mean that you should, in fact it's best not to. I'm not saying that 4 wheelers are bad, they're actually pretty cool, but they need to be treated with respect and driven safely. I don't think kids should be riding 4 wheelers without adults watching, simply because kids will be kids. As the holidays approach and fall weather is descends on Polk County, families will be drawn outside to enjoy the fall weather. Often there will be 4 wheelers involved. Below is some information that 4 wheeler owners should read. - Willie P. Openshaw, Editor
HERE'S SOME SAFETY GUIDELINES TO FOLLOW THAT MAY HELP KEEP YOU AND/OR YOUR KIDS OFF THIS WEBSITE:
DO NOT DRIVE A 4 WHEELER WHILE INTOXICATED...
ATVs should NEVER be driven while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. ATVs are high-speed, motorized vehicles that require the driver’s full, unimpaired attention.
DO NOT LET CHILDREN RIDE 4 WHEELERS MADE FOR AN ADULT...
Children under 16 years old lack the developmental skills to safely drive adult ATVs. These ATVs – with engine sizes over 90 cubic centimeters (cc) – can go over 70 mph and weigh hundreds of pounds. Current industry and CPSC recommendations are for children and young teens to be restricted to ATVs with engine sizes of 90 cc or below.
Children under 6 should never be on an ATV – either as a driver or passenger. Young children lack the physical ability and mental skills to safely maneuver a motorized vehicle with multiple speeds and controls.
Most ATVs are equipped with a label detailing the manufacturer’s and CPSC’s recommended age for that particular model. The recommended ages for Y-6 models (under 70 cc engines) are 6 to 11; the recommended ages for the Y-12 models (70 to 90 cc engines) are 12 to 15.
By age 6, some children can drive youth ATVs with simple controls at very low speeds. Many young children cannot grasp gear shifting or understand and apply most safety rules – especially in situations where quick recall is needed. A Y-6 ATV is designed to go up to 15 miles per hour; however, Y-6 ATVs are equipped with a device that can limit the speed to 10 miles per hour.
By ages 12 to 13, many children can drive youth ATVs at speeds under 25 mph. These children generally lack the cognitive skills to control adult ATVs under a wide range of conditions. Even many older, more experienced adolescents cannot make quick, accurate judgments while driving ATVs. A Y-12 ATV is designed to go up to 30 mph; however, Y-12 ATVs are equipped with a device that can limit the speed to 15 mph.
DO NOT DRIVE 4 WHEELERS ON PAVED ROADS...
ATVs should not be driven on paved roads. ATVs on paved roads are at risk of being hit by cars and other vehicles. While passenger vehicles contain safety features designed to protect occupants from collisions, ATVs do not. If struck by other vehicles, ATV riders can be killed or severely injured.
In addition, most ATVs have low pressure tires and a solid rear axle, where both wheels turn at the same speed. When making a turn, the ATV's inside rear wheel is intended to skid because its path length is less than the path length of the outside wheel. ATVs on paved surfaces have much better traction, which prevents the necessary skidding. This can make turning an ATV on paved surfaces unpredictable and unstable.
For these reasons, some states and local areas prohibit ATVs and other off-road vehicles on public streets and highways.
DO NOT DRIVE 4 WHEELERS WITH A PASSENGER, OR RIDE AS A PASSENGER...
ATVs are designed for interactive riding. This means the driver’s body movement plays an integral part of the handling. The driver must be able to shift his or her weight freely in all directions. If passengers get in the way or shift their weight improperly, the driver may not be able to safely control the ATV. In addition, most ATVs are not equipped with handholds or footrests for passengers. Single rider ATVs display a warning label to remind drivers not to carry passengers. New “2-Up” ATVs on the market are specifically designed to carry a driver with a single passenger. According to manufacturers, these ATVs should never be used to carry children under 12 or to carry more than one passenger.
ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GEAR, ESPECIALLY A HELMET...
Other important protective equipment to wear while riding an ATV includes:
Over-the-ankle boots – to protect feet and ankles from injury.
Goggles – to protect eyes from rocks and dust thrown up by ATVs.
Gloves – to protect fingers and hands.
Long pants and long-sleeved shirt – to protect skin from rocks, trees, and other debris.
State of Texas ATV Deaths
Total Reported Deaths (1982-2011): *Data collection for 2008-2011 is ongoing
Reported Deaths (1982-2007):
Reported Deaths (2008-2011): *Data collection for 2008-2011 is ongoing
Reported Deaths (1982-2007): Children under 16
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