Boat, Motorcycle, & ATV Safety Tips

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Motorcycle Safety Helmet

Pleasant spring, summer and fall weather entices many to enjoy the outdoors by land or water. Millions own ATVs, motorcycles or boats. However, unless vehicle operators adhere to basic safety precautions, accidents occur. Statistics from 2017 indicate that more than 100,000 injuries and 5,300 fatalities occurred secondary to ATV, boating and motorcycle accidents. Keeping in mind a few precautions ensures that all stay safe while enjoying recreational activities.

ATV Safety Tips

  • Protective gear-ATV riders should always wear a full helmet along with protective outerwear, boots and gloves. If a spill occurs, the rider’s body remains protected from possible injury.
  • Perform an inspection-Before each ride, ATV owners should consider inspecting the vehicle’s tires, wheels, cables, the chain, connectors, electronic components and fluid levels.
  • Ride with a buddy-Riding with other people ensures ATV safety. Dangers that one rider sees are easily passed on to other riders. In the event of an accident, a companion is able to offer emergency assistance or contact help.
  • Ride responsibly-Avoid performing stunts or tricks. Do not push the limits of your skill or the function of the ATV.

Boating Tips

  • Use common sense-Stay alert, do not speed, avoid other vessels and respect navigational devices. Never operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Have an assistant boat operator-Besides the boat operator, another individual must be familiar with the vessel’s function, regulations and emergency protocols in the event the captain becomes incapacitated.
  • Flotation devices-Boats should carry one life jacket for each passenger, which should be worn. A life preserving float is another option.
  • Trip itinerary-Before embarking on a boating adventure, inform a loved one where you plan to be on the water. Include the names, addresses and phone numbers of all the passengers along with details of the planned journey.
  • Communication devices-Smaller vessels should have at least a smartphone for emergencies. Larger vessels should be equipped with more advanced two-way radios along with personal and positional emergency beacons.
  • Be weather wise-Before departing, obtain weather information for the area in which you plan on traveling. If storm clouds appear, the winds increase or the water becomes rough, leave the water.

Motorcycle Tips

  • Take a safety course-New bike riders especially benefit from taking a basic operator safety class. The courses typically involve written instruction combined with learning riding techniques. Completion of the class enables riders to take the MVD test for an operator’s license.
  • Pre-trip inspection-Before heading off on any road trip, owners should perform a quick inspection of the bike’s tires, fluids, chassis and the electronic components. In this way, you reduce the risk of malfunction while riding, which could contribute to an accident.
  • Wear a DOT certified helmet-Thousands of fatalities occur each year when riders do not wear a motorcycle helmet. A properly fitting full helmet is the best, as the gear protects your face, ears and head.
  • Additional gear-Riders should consider also wearing protective outerwear in the form of heavy jackets and pants along with gloves and boots. In the event that a rider falls from the bike, their body remains protected from suffering scrapes, lacerations or bruising.

Car Seat Safety

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Car Seat Safety for a Happy Holiday Season

Portrait of a beautiful baby girl sitting on a car seat and smilingThe holiday season is upon us and for many, this means traveling to spend time with friends and family. Whether driving across the country or across town, make seat safety a priority for your family. Everyone can be thankful to arrive safely this Thanksgiving by following the most recent car seat requirements which are 71% effective in reducing fatal injury in children one and younger and 54% effective in reducing fatal injury to children ages one to four.

A child’s age doesn’t just determine whether they stay at the kids table or get a spot with the grown-ups. One of the first things to consider when evaluating car seat safety are the ages of the children in the vehicle. Car seat requirements vary based on the age and size of a child. For children ages newborn to two, seat safety means rear-facing in a properly installed car seat with a five-point harness. The rules for car seat safety change once a child reaches the age of two and has met the height and weight requirements outlined by their car seat’s manufacturer. At two they can be turned around to face forward. All the better to see those beautiful holiday decorations! To ensure the highest standard of child seat safety, review your owner’s manual to make certain your child is not outgrowing his or her car seat. If so, it is time to consider a seat with a higher weight limit since your child will be in this seat until age five.

Beginning at age five a child can transition to a booster seat. Arizona Revised Statutes §28-907 A and B require that children ages eight and under, and who are no taller than 4 foot 9 inches, need to remain in a safety seat or booster seat. Failure to do this correctly can result in fines ranging from $50-$250, which could really put a dent in your gift budget, or much worse. Thankfully, when it comes to child seat safety there are plenty of options to choose from that include booster seats with weight ranges over 100 pounds. For children twelve and under, the back seat with a proper seat belt is the safest place

Although the weather outside may be frightful, the inside of your car can be delightful. Delightfully safe, that is. Of course transporting your family safely doesn’t stop at proper car seat safety. It’s best to avoid driving in hazardous weather, always keep your attention on the road and don’t forget to take your time. Sing your favorite holiday songs with your little ones and keep the holiday season merry and bright.

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