Q: How fast might you be moving when riding an ATV? How does speed influence the impact of being thrown from a vehicle?
A: Depending on the size of an ATV, it can travel at road speeds (40 to 80 miles per hour). Most of the time ATVs travel at much slower speeds because they are moving up or down hills, over bumps, and around curves. Due to momentum, the faster a vehicle is moving the further an obstacle or person is thrown from the vehicle. The force of hitting a stationary object (road surface, tree, another vehicle, etc.) is directly proportional to speed.
Q: What other personal protective equipment (PPE) is needed when operating an ATV?
A: Although a helmet is the most important PPE, ATV operators should also wear long sleeved shirts, long pants, over-the-ankle boots, gloves, and goggles. Each PPE protects a different part of the body, with the brain being the most fragile.
Q: Are all helmets made the same?
A: There are different types of helmets for different forms of transportation. Examples include: equestrian, bicycle, and motorcycle helmets. Each one has its own requirements based on speed and size of the transportation mode.
Q: What’s the purpose of the face shield on an ATV helmet?
A: Like the brain, your face contains very important items such as eyes, nose, and mouth. If thrown from an ATV, your head and face are often the first items to impact. The face guard provides additional protection to these crucial areas of the head.
Q: How do you determine the right sized ATV helmet?
A: ATV helmets should fit snugly and be stable when you shake your head from side-to-side or front-to-back. Try on several at the store. There is much padding within the helmet for protection purposes and there should be some resistance when pulling it over your head. Bigger is not necessarily better. A loose fitting helmet can be dangerous, fly off the head, and be noisy due to increased wind resistance.
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