PIKEVILLE - June 21 marks the first day of summer and the height of ATV riding season.
Pikeville Medical Center encourages everyone to put safety first when riding ATVs.
Dr. Brandon Smallwood, PMC Emergency Department Medical Director, advises ATV riders to slow down.
“Suppress the need for speed,” he said. “Be smart, take caution and watch for others riding.”
If an ATV accident does occur, Dr. Smallwood reminds everyone to dial 9-1-1. This allows emergency medical services (EMS) to begin the treatment process in route to the Emergency Department (ED).
The EMS calls the hospital prior to arrival making sure the ED staff is prepared for the patient.
According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, from 1982 to 2011, 1,353 deaths occurred due to ATVs in Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. About one third of all ATV–related deaths and hospital emergency room injuries involve children.
When riding an ATV, one should follow these safety tips:
•Take a hands-on safety training course
•Always wear protective gear, especially a helmet, when riding an ATV
•Wear over-the-ankle boots, goggles, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt
•Practice correct riding posture
•Children should not ride on adult ATVs
•Children under six should never be on an ATV. Most ATVs have a label detailing the recommended age for that particular model
•Unless the ATV is “2-Up,” do not drive with a passenger or ride as a passenger
•Never use an ATV to carry children less than 12 years of age or more than one passenger
•Do not drive on paved roads or unfamiliar terrain
•Do not drive or ride under the influence (This includes alcohol or any other medication that may make you sleepy or affect your driving ability)
For more information about ATV safety or to sign up for an ATV training course go to http://atvsafety.gov.