A visit to a farm or country property over the Easter holidays can be an exciting experience for all children but to the inexperienced ATV rider, the offer of riding one of these machines can be fraught with danger.

If the opportunity to ride an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) is offered, there are simple and vital precautions to take.

Training allows riders to understand an ATV’s features, its limitations, and the risks involved.

Rider training is highly recommended because ATV handling and therefore rider safety relies on the user being ‘rider active’. It’s important to know that small children of light weight cannot influence the handling characteristics of an adult-sized ATV.

Full-sized ATVs were never designed for children, and kids under 16 are at a high risk of injury. In fact, children under 16 riding full-sized ATVs make up 20 per cent of annual ATV fatalities.

Children should only ride ‘age appropriate’ ATVs, not those designed for adults.

All riders should wear helmets, children riding ATVs must be closely supervised, and passengers must be prevented from riding on ATVs never designed to carry more than one person.

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries, which represents the ATV industry, has been strongly promoting helmet usage for riders of all ages, as wearing a helmet when riding reduces your risk of injury by as much as 60 per cent.

Many of the issues around helmet designs being unsuitable for ATV riders has been addressed with the launch in Australia recently of the new Shark ATV helmet.

The open-faced Shark ATV helmet is regarded as one of the most effective safety assets an ATV rider can have. Manufactured after years of research, the helmet is light in weight, meets all the high safety standards required (ECE 22-05 and DOT), has easy-to-hear-with ear pods, and maximum protection and ventilation for the wearer.

The Shark also has other sports uses, such as a maximum head protection for snowboarding, mountain bike riding or skateboarding.