April 27, 2016 – The Arizona Game and Fish Department reminds all off-highway vehicle (OHV) drivers and passengers to ensure they are riding safely by carrying only the number of passengers for which their vehicle is designed.
The reminder comes after a Mohave County couple was injured when their single-rider all-terrain vehicle (ATV) flipped recently while on a difficult roadway in the Hualapai Mountains, according to the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office. Most ATVs are only designed to carry a single rider.
“It’s critically important for OHV operators not to overload their machines and to make sure they are driving with the correct number of passengers,” said Matt Eberhart, AZGFD OHV Safety Education coordinator. “Carrying too many people in any OHV, especially on a single-rider ATV, dramatically alters the handling of the vehicle and makes it unsafe and unstable for everyone aboard.”
The couple was not wearing helmets as they attempted to reach a ridge on their ATV. Unfortunately, the trail became too steep and the machine flipped backwards, according to authorities. Both were injured and one needed to be airlifted by County Search and Rescue deputies.
AZGFD reminds riders that helmets are required by law for all riders under the age of 18 regardless of the off-highway vehicle type. However, they are strongly recommended for all riders, regardless of age. In addition riders should remember to:
- Wear a seat belt at all times, if equipped.
- Wear riding goggles, a long-sleeved shirt, pants, riding gloves and over-the-ankle boots.
- Never ride alone.
- Be prepared and equipped with a map, a first aid kit, whistle and have basic tools on hand.
- Stay on designated trails.
- Take an OHV safety education course designed to teach off-road motorists how to ride safely and responsibly.
For more information about the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s OHV program and safety course options, visit www.azgfd.com/ohv.