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This Month's Tip:

Practice Sound Risk Management with Your ATV

There are around 10 million all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in the United States and over 16 million operators. Unfortunately, approximately 700 people die each year and over 100,000 people are injured annually due to ATV accidents. Injuries and accidents are particularly common for children under age 16. The alarming increase in injury and death from ATV usage is attributable not just to increased use but also to the production of larger, faster, and more powerful ATVs.

If you own an ATV or operate one, you should advise your insurance agent accordingly to verify that you have proper liability coverage and limits in place. You should also work with an experienced attorney to draft a waiver agreement for any guest who wishes to ride or drive the ATV. If they do not wish to sign the waiver, no usage of the ATV should be permitted.

In addition, the following safety tips should be followed.

  • Children should be allowed to operate only age-appropriate or "youth" ATVs. Most youth ATV-related deaths and injuries occur while operating "adult" ATVs. No child under age 7 should ever ride or operate an ATV.
  • Most ATVs are designed for only one person, so children should not take on passengers or be passengers of their parent's ATV.
  • ATVs should not be driven on paved roads. ATVs, because of their design, are difficult to control on paved roads. Collisions with other vehicles on the road can prove fatal.
  • ATV operators should never drive an ATV without a helmet. Wearing a certified motorcycle helmet can dramatically decrease the chances of a head injury while operating the ATV.
  • All operators should complete a "hands-on" ATV training course. One class is estimated to be equal to 1 year of experience. Reputable ATV dealers often provide this class free of charge to their customers.

Get more personal lines insurance and risk management tips and ideas from IRMI.

Copyright 2015
International Risk Management Institute, Inc.


Last month's Tip:

Coaching Your Teenage Driver

Research indicates that the greatest risk of auto accidents is among teenage drivers. The California Department of Motor Vehicles reports that the fatal crash rate for 16- to 19-year-olds is 2.7 times higher than for drivers of all ages. So here are some tips for parents to pass on to their sons and daughters who are now getting behind the wheel for the first time.

  • Establish initial ground rules for the use of the car. These rules, perhaps in the form of a contract, should include restrictions on the number of friends in the car, circumscribed use of the radio, where and how the car may be used, and curfew times. Curtailment of the right to drive should be spelled out.
  • Ban cell phone use. Parents should emphasize that the cell phone must be turned off and unavailable while the teen is driving.
  • Prohibit drinking and driving. Parents should emphasize that there be no exceptions to this ironclad rule.
  • Keep distractions to a minimum. This includes talking with friends, eating, and flipping the radio dial.
  • Practice defensive driving. Techniques include maintaining a safe distance from cars ahead of the driver, closely monitoring traffic in adjacent lanes, and taking a defensive driving class.
  • Follow the speed limit. Research indicates that high driving speed is a significant contributor to fatal teen accidents.
  • Choose a safe auto for your teen. Autos with excellent crash safety records and the latest safety equipment, including air bags and electronic stability control, could reduce your teen's chances of being injured in an auto accident.

Get more personal lines insurance and risk management tips and ideas from IRMI.

Copyright 2015
International Risk Management Institute, Inc.


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