If you are interested in using a snowmobile in Pennsylvania this summer, there are some rules and regulations that you need to know before you begin!
According to local news reports, our area saw two people who were injured after an ATV (all-terrain vehicle) crash last week. Two adults were riding an ATV on a street in Houtzdale when they didn't stop at a blinking red light. They were subsequently hit by a pickup trip, and were flown to our hometown hospital, UPMC Altoona, for care. The driver of the ATV is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol while driving. Both the STV driver and his passenger are said to have serious injuries.
Planning on riding on an all-terrain vehicle this fall? Are you sure that you're current on all the best practices for safety standards? If you're unsure, it may be time to brush up on your facts! The website ATVSafety.org offers a variety of extremely helpful resources for you, your family, and friends. They even have an online course so you can make sure you're fit and educated before you hit the road! You need to make sure you're safe and prepared before riding to avoid injuring yourself or others. It should be noted that, within the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, all-terrain vehicles need to be registered with the Department of Transportation. A license is not required for drivers of these vehicles. There are no clear laws pertaining to the registration of dirt bikes.
Many Farm Bureaus across the states are working hard this year to implement their Agricultural Safety Awareness Program. As a component of this initiative, last week was designated as Agricultural Safety Awareness Week, and had a theme relating to riding safely while using farm machinery. One of the big pushes of the safety week was to raise awareness about all-terrain vehicle safety, especially the use of helmets.
Winter tourism is hitting Pennsylvania! Reports show that the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau is receiving a great deal of interest from visitors who are hoping to explore our state's natural beauty through skiing and snowmobiling. A representative from the bureau notes that many of the people who have been calling in are not from the area, which is great for our state's tourism trade. The agency is also urging visitors to the state to try to hike the North Country National Scenic Trail, or take an ATV-guided ride at Majestic Kamp. Our Allegheny National Forest has over 300 miles of snowmobile trails that are regularly groomed and are designed in intersected loops, along with another 50+ miles that are ungroomed, but can be used by snowmobile and ATV riders.
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has a great website with very illustrative and engaging infographics relating to statistics surrounding ATV accidents year to year. Unsuprising to many who read our blog, Pennsylvania stands out among the top 10 states for ATV deaths. In the last 30 years, at least 494 people have died in ATV accidents in Pennsylvania. Countless more have been seriously injured while riding these vehicles. To learn more and to look at the US CPSC's informative charts, please click here.
An area ATV accident has recently made the news. According to a report by WPXI.com, a Somerset-area family was involved in an ATV accident which killed a four-year-old girl. An infant, toddler, and nine-year-old child were also involed in the accident. No one involved the crash was reported wearing a safety belt or helmet. For more on the article and corresponding legal case, please click here.
Want to learn more about the prevalence of all-terrain vehicle accidents across the country? Check out this NBC Nightly News clip from July 2012. At that time, over 700 people died from ATV accidents in a year, and about 136,000 visited the hospital for ATV-related injuries. Check out the news clip by clicking here!