All-Terrain Vehicles or ATV's are a popular choice of fun for summer time. But more than 350,000 children are hurt riding ATV's each year. Now, a new report in the journal "Pe Diatrics" suggests that number is going down due to riders following proper safety measures.
"The big thing is people starting to wear their safety equipment a little bit more heavily after seeing all these accidents" said G & S Suzuki General Manager Beau Barton.
Here in Texoma, the Red River on Highway 79 is a popular destination for ATV enthusiasts.
"We usually come out here on the weekends just to get some relaxation, just have some fun and ride dirtbikes" said ATV rider Larry Hill.
Riders risk the possibility of getting into accidents when hopping onto their vehicles.
According to Barton, "the cause to a lot of accidents is vision. When you're going 40-50 miles down the river bed, a lot of times you're getting a lot of dust in your eyes and your squinting so you can't see" he said.
So in order to prevent injuries or accidents, the most important thing it to wear protective gear like helmets, goggles, gloves and boots.
ATV Rider Elvin Lee always makes sure he is equipped with protective gear. "We make sure that we have boots on, our chests protected as well as a helmet. Can't forget about the gloves because without those it can be pretty dangerous so we want to ensure that we stay safe at all times" he said.
Barton hopes injuries continue to decline and urges riders to follow some simple advice.
"Always make sure to look ahead. Pay attention to your surroundings and make sure to know where your feet are" he said.
Distracted drivers who aren't paying attention to what's ahead is another factor that causes ATV accidents. Law enforcement will also be cracking down to make sure there is no one operating ATV's under the influence of alcohol.
Riders should always carry water and a cell phone at all times in case of emergencies. To avoid any injuries or getting lost, experts recommend monitoring fuel levels and knowing your riding limits. Amateur riders are encouraged to ride with an experienced driver.