When on your OHV: Buckle up! Every trip, every time
Posted June 21, 2018
If an off-highway vehicle (OHV), like a side-by-side, is equipped with seatbelts, the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) is urging the operator and all passengers to wear them. It’s a simple step, but one that could be lifesaving.
AZGFD launched a campaign this summer with the goal of reaching as many people as possible with the important message: Buckle up! Every trip, every time.
“We want to save lives and prevent as many fatalities and injuries as possible,” said David Rigo, OHV coordinator for AZGFD. “Wearing a seatbelt while riding in a side-by-side is an easy step to take, but one that we unfortunately do not see people doing.”
In 2017, there were numerous fatal accidents involving off-highway vehicles that had rolled over, pinning people underneath the machine. Wearing a seatbelt is critical because it will help keep the operator and any passengers inside the vehicle in the event of an accident.
Additional key safety practices when operating an OHV include:
- Wear a helmet. They’re required for all operators and passengers under the age of 18, but are strongly recommended for everyone.
- Only carry the number of passengers recommended by the vehicle’s manufacturer. Many accidents are the result of people exceeding the manufacturer’s recommended carrying capacity.
- Never ride alone, and always leave details about your trip (including who’s going, where you’re going and when you expect to return) with a friend or family member who can follow up to ensure everyone made it home safely.
It’s also recommended that anyone operating or riding in an OHV take a safety education course that’s specifically designed to teach off-road motorists how to ride safely and responsibly.
“Make it a habit that you buckle up every trip, every time you operate an OHV,” Rigo said. “We want everyone to enjoy Arizona’s outdoor recreation opportunities, but more importantly, we want to ensure they return home safe and ready for their next adventure.”