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(ARA) – When they first came on the scene in the 1980s, all terrain vehicles were used primarily for agricultural purposes. Today, they are ridden mostly for recreation, sport and work. No matter what the purpose, whether it’s fun at the cabin, work on the farm, or getting away to your favorite fishing hole, the industry as a whole wants to make sure its customers keep safety in mind.

“Today’s ATVs have made a lot of advancements and are a lot of fun to operate, but they’re not toys and can be dangerous if not used properly,” says Ron Solberg of Arctic Cat, Incorporated, a manufacturer of ATVs and snowmobiles. “To protect themselves, people need to take a few simple precautions before venturing out.”

Mark Johnson, 45, of Shoreview, Minn., a suburb of St. Paul, is a true believer in that concept. He made sure his son watched the safety video that came with the family ATV before venturing out.

“We’ve had it four years now and no one has ever gotten hurt,” says Johnson. His son, Kellen, 17, always wear a full-face helmet, gloves, long pants and sweat shirts when riding around his family’s two acre property.

Some other safety precautions to keep in mind: never ride on paved surfaces or public roads, avoid excessive speeds, don’t drink and drive and don’t carry passengers unless you have a vehicle that is specifically designed for more than one rider. Typically, ATVs have been designed for a single

passenger and have unique handling characteristics. The presence of a passenger seriously impairs the driver’s ability to shift weight and steer and control the vehicle.

To address that problem and alleviate safety concerns, Arctic Cat has designed the TRV, which stands for two rider vehicle. They just hit the market this year, and are intended for drivers 18 and older and passengers 12 and older.

“Because children often lack the physical size and strength, cognitive abilities and fine motor skills to operate an ATV properly, their risk of injury is greater,” says Solberg. “As a rule, no one under the age of six should even ride on an ATV; but we’ve found that kids six and older can handle operating machines with 50 cc engines. They’re usually ready to move up to an ATV with a 90cc engine by the time they are 12 years old.”

Another thing to keep in mind, whether you’re six or 60, training is important for everyone. Several ATV manufactures, including Arctic Cat, offer incentives to encourage their customers to put safety first. Arctic Cat offers a $100 cash incentive to first time purchasers. It’s money they receive in cash upon completion of a safety course.

For more information about Arctic Cat and ATV safety, log onto

Courtesy of ARA Content

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Courtesy of ARA Content

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