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Summer is ending and the weather is reaching that perfect balance between warm and cool. It is little wonder that people all over Montana try to spend as much time as possible outdoors during this time of year. Unfortunately, enjoying the weather is not always a safe pursuit. A number of recreational accidents, motorcycle accidents and pedestrian accidents occur at this time of year. One pastime that can be particularly dangerous is riding all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

ATV riding can be exhilarating and empowering. However, much like motorcycle riding, it can also be uniquely dangerous. If you take ATV safety seriously, the sport can be enjoyable. However, if you do not take ATV safety seriously, your riding season may be marked by tragedy.

When you ride, ensure that you are outfitted properly. Your arms and legs should be covered and you should wear a regulation helmet. Riding with a bare head and bare limbs may feel temporarily fantastic, but you may pay for this decision with your life should you experience an accident without proper safety wear.

It will also benefit you to read your vehicle’s owner’s manual and to take a safety course. No matter how long you have been riding, there is always new safety and mechanical information to learn about your ATV.

Finally, it is important to drive safely. Never drive while intoxicated or distracted and do not exceed safe speed limits. Any action that is inadvisable for motorists to engage in is similarly inadvisable for ATV riders.

Source: The River Reporter, “ATVs: safety required,” Sep. 4, 2013

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