There are ways to stay safe when driving off-road

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – ATV stands for “all-terrain vehicle.” They have four wheels, a rider seating area, and no seatbelts, which can make them dangerous if used wrong.

Connor Myers, who rides dirt bikes around Goshen, said, “It’s addicting. I absolutely love dirt biking. It’s the only time when you’re not thinking about other stuff.”

Riding dirt bikes or ATVs can be fun, but they’re also very dangerous. “I’ve broken my ankle, ripped ligaments, broken ribs, that’s why I take all the precautions,” said Myers.

There are precautions that save lives. In May, a 22-year-old man died after crashing his ATV into a dumpster in Palmer. Weeks later, another man died after his ATV flipped on a street in Ludlow.

Many ATV injuries aren’t from improper use but not wearing the right safety equipment. It’s recommended to wear this type of helmet, boots, body armor, and gloves to protect you in case you get in an accident.”

Value Motorsports Salesman Erick Poirier said ATVs should only be driven on unpaved roads. “The handling is greatly affected on paved surfaces. It’s a machine built to go on numerous types of terrain whether its rocks, mud, grass, doing yard work.”

While ATVs are used for plowing driveways or driving dirt paths, they’re also popular on racetracks. Poirier recommends reading the owners’ manual before riding an ATV. Manufacturers offer free training courses to encourage safe riding.

22News received an email from National Grid reminding off-road drivers to stay off the utility roads and keep to the designated safe trails.

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