In 2019, 312 Arkansans died from injuries sustained in ATV crashes. Searcy County Sheriff Kenny Cassell stated that in February of last year a Searcy County teenager lost his life and in March another teen was seriously injured due to ATV crashes.
"I don't want to see this happen again this year," Cassell said. "I want to take this opportunity to encourage ATV drivers and passengers in Searcy County to become familiar with the basic ATV safety guidelines and to follow them to help protect themselves and others."
Cassell said ATV drivers should practice the following guidelines recommended by the ATV Safety Institute (ASI):
Always wear a DOT-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, and gloves.
Never ride on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law - another vehicle could hit you. ATVs are designed to be operated off-highway.
Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV, and no more than one passenger on an ATV specifically designed for two people.
Ride an ATV that's right for your age.
Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.
Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed.
Take an ATV riders course. ASI offers three unique e-learning courses to address basic ATV safety principles: one for teen and adult riders, one for youth, and one for people who will be supervising their youngsters or other young riders. All students will learn how to apply the "golden rules" of ATV riding in an interactive setting. The courses include videos, pictures, checklists, and quizzes to make them fun and effective learning experiences for all age groups. Students earn certificates for successfully completing the courses and are encouraged to take the next step in the learning process: hands-on training. To learn more about ATV safety, call ASI at 800.887.2887.
"With the ATV season right around the corner, I encourage all Searcy County ATV drivers and passengers to follow these simple guidelines and get the necessary training to ensure a fun and safe ATV season," Cassell added.