When people go trail riding or use their ATV for recreational use, wearing a helmet is something that most don’t blink an eye to. They do it with no questions asked.
So why is it when we use them around the farm, we hop on the quad at the same speeds, helmet-less, without thinking twice?
ATV safety is a topic that comes up every now and then, but unfortunately it’s often only after disaster strikes our rural communities.
Kaitlyn Kwasney, education and prevention coordinator with the Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Outreach Team in Saskatchewan, says ATV-related injuries in the province were up by 80 per cent last year.
“People are using them as a mode of transportation on the farm and it’s something that they are jumping on every day. So putting that helmet on isn’t always on the forefront of their minds. That’s something that we just want to touch on and get people to think about,” she notes. “Yes, you are just running across the yard, or to the barn, or to the bins, but it only takes a second for something to happen. And if you don’t have that helmet on there can be some really severe consequences.”
Although a helmet doesn’t guarantee you’ll come out of a wreck without any head injuries, it can definitely reduce the risk.
“If you have a helmet on, we hope all that happens is that when your brain takes an impact, it gets a small bruise and we have a concussion. With a helmet you are probably going to end up with some sort of concussion especially with the nature of the speeds and the type of collisions that happen on the ATVs. Without that helmet on we’re going to have some series injuries to the brain. You can have a fractured skull, and when that happens, because our brain is a jelly like substance, it can take a pretty hard hit and we can’t repair that damage once it’s been done. So you’ll have lifelong repercussions from that injury,” explains Kwasney.
To learn more about ATV safety, the importance of protecting our brain, and helmet tips, check out this video filmed at Ag in Motion in Langham, Saskatchewan: