In mid-November 2022, Conservation Law-enforcement Officer Jesse Haney with the Fort McCoy Directorate of Emergency Services Police Department spent a morning teaching installation workforce members the importance of all-terrain vehicle (ATV) safety.
Haney, a certified ATV safety instructor, went over all the safety aspects built into ATVs with his students during the training. He also specified the types of equipment drivers should wear when operating the equipment, and much more.
“Having the knowledge operate these machines correctly can prevent mishaps and accidents,” Haney said during the training.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), they also urge all consumers using ATVs “to understand the risks and necessary safety measures of ATVs before riding them.” The CSPC also refers to ATVs as “OHVs,” or off-highway vehicles.
The dangers of riding OHVs are real and include overturning, collisions, and occupant ejection,” the CSPC states at their website at https://www.cpsc.gov/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/ATV-Safety-Information-Center. “CPSC’s latest data show an annual average of more than 700 deaths and an estimated 100,000 emergency department-treated injuries involving OHVs. According to CPSC’s latest report, from 2016 through 2018, there were 2,211 deaths in the United States associated with OHVs, which includes all-terrain vehicles, recreational off-highway vehicles, and utility-terrain vehicles. ATVs accounted for nearly three-quarters of the deaths. Nearly 300 deaths were among children under the age of 16.”
The website also states that the CPSC estimates that 112,300 injuries, associated with OHVs, were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2020.
“Over five years, ATVs were the vehicle involved in 96 percent of the OHV injuries,” the website states.
Safe riding tips from the CPSC's website include:
— Getting hands-on training from a qualified instructor in an ATV Safety Institute course, much like one that Haney was teaching to the Fort McCoy workforce members.
— Never ride with more passengers than there are seats. Most ATVs are designed for one rider.
— Never ride on public roads, except to cross, where permitted by law.
— Avoid drinking alcohol before or while driving an ATV, because alcohol can impair judgment and response time.
— Stay off paved roads.
— Riders younger than 16 should drive only age-appropriate youth models, and never adult models.
— Always wear a helmet and other protective gear, such as eye protection, boots, gloves, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt.
In a story from the Army Safety Center's Risk Management Magazine from September 2019, one writer, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Patrick Magill wrote an article about ATV safety called “The Last Ride” that recalled a harrowing experience he went through in witnessing an ATV accident in New Mexico. His last line of the article might have been his best piece of advice.
“Before participating in any off-roading activities, make sure you have the proper training and personal protective equipment. Without it, your next ride could be your last.”
See more about Magill's article at https://safety.army.mil/MEDIA/Risk-Management-Magazine/ArtMID/7428/ArticleID/6442. See more about Army Safey by visiting https://safety.army.mil. And learn more about your installation ATV safety programs by visiting with your local safety representatives.
Learn more about Fort McCoy online at https://home.army.mil/mccoy, on the Defense Visual Information Distribution System at https://www.dvidshub.net/fmpao, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”
Also try downloading the Digital Garrison app to your smartphone and set “Fort McCoy” or another installation as your preferred base.