In Alaska, we use many types of transportation for all kinds of reasons to get from point A to point B. When traveling by all-terrain vehicle (ATV), snow machine, motorcycle or bike, anywhere, anytime, everyone should wear a helmet – even if it’s a quick trip close to home.
Wearing a helmet is the best way protect your head and reduce the risk of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Adults can set a positive example for our youth by driving safely and always wearing a helmet.
Facts about Traumatic Brain Injury
TBI is caused by a blow, bump, jolt or other head injury that causes damage to the brain. From 2012 to 2016 Alaska Native people:
- Had an average of 200 hospitalizations for TBI every year
- Of those hospitalizations, about 1/5 of TBIs were from ATV, snowmachine and bicycle
Symptoms of TBI are dependent on the following:
- Type of head injury
- The part of the brain that is affected
- The injury’s severity
Plan with TRIPSS
Planning your TRIPSS* is a good way to reduce injuries while driving and operating your ATV:
T – Training
Take a free online ATV training course to learn safety tips at https://atvsafety.org/.
R – Ride Off-Road
When possible, ride on unpaved roads. The ATV’s tires are not made for paved or loose gravel roads – you could lose control.
I – Impairment Danger
Never drive an ATV while impaired.
P – Plan Ahead
Before riding, plan your trip by looking for wire fencing, tree stumps and other dangers. Let someone know where you are going and when you’ll be back.
S – Single Rider
Most ATVs are made for one rider. When possible, drive without passengers.
S – Safety Equipment
Wear a helmet, boots, gloves, long pants and sleeves when riding your ATV.
*TRIPSS safety message adapted from the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Injury Prevention program.