Researchers from The University of Adelaide’s Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR) are urging ATV riders to undertake training, follow known safety practices and ensure their vehicle is appropriate for the task at hand.
Welcoming the research report, FCAI Chief Executive Tony Weber said public awareness of known safety practices and training are initiatives the ATV industry has promoted for some time now, and it is pleasing to see these themes highlighted in the report’s recommendations.
“All ATV users need to be aware of, and follow, known safety practices when riding ATVs,” Mr Weber said.
“This includes undertaking training, wearing a helmet and protective equipment, riding the correct sized ATV, not carrying more than the approved number of passengers, not using an ATV on terrain or in applications for which it is not suited, and never riding under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
“It is also crucial that children under the age of 16 only ride specifically designed and labelled age-appropriate ATVs and never be allowed to ride adult sized ATVs. Adults should always supervise young riders and ensure they only ride in areas suitable to their vehicle and skills.”
Mr Weber also highlighted the CASR recommendation that riders should choose a vehicle that is fit for purpose.
“ATVs are highly-useful pieces of farm and recreation equipment that are used across Australia daily. However, in some cases, an ATV may not be the most appropriate vehicle for the environment or task at hand. Where this is the case, other vehicles such a side-by-side should be considered.
“If in doubt, users can speak with the distributor or local dealer.”
The ATV industry is taking steps to further improve customer awareness at dealerships to encourage further dealer–customer discussion about the selection of the most appropriate vehicle; the use of protective gear, including helmets; the dangers of children and passengers riding single-seat adult-sized ATVs; and the importance and availability of rider training.
The FCAI is encouraged by the level of investigation in this report, and that users were interviewed and their views used to inform the report outcomes.
“What becomes evident from the participant interviews, is that ATVs are an important workhorse on properties throughout rural Australia. We encourage all users to mitigate risks by employing known safety practices and regularly assessing the way their ATV is being used,” Mr Weber said.
The report is a timely reminder to riders, parents, and employers to take note of the owner’s manual and the warning labels on their vehicle. New riders are also encouraged to view the ATV safety video provided by the industry which can be found on the industry’s ATV Safety website, www.atvsafety.com.au.
The FCAI will continue to work with the government, research sector, safety agencies and farming groups to promote safe use of ATVs, and will release a number of safety initiatives in the coming months.