May 25, 2014 7:41 pm
Updated: May 26, 2014 11:26 am

Spike in ATV fatalities in Saskatchewan sparks concern

ATV safety is being highlighted after two people in Saskatchewan died while riding this month.

Derek Putz / Global News

REGINA – ATV safety is being highlighted after two people in Saskatchewan died while riding this month.

“It’s the difference between a nice ride in the afternoon with your family, your friends, and spending time in the hospital and/or being the center point of a funeral,” said John Meed, general manager of the Saskatchewan All Terrain Vehicle Association (SATVA).

In the past month, two people have died in ATV crashes. It’s believed alcohol was a contributing factor in both.

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According the SATVA, the number of people injured in ATV accidents in Saskatchewan has nearly doubled since 2011: from 25 to 47, last year. In that same time frame, the amount of causalities has jumped from three to eight, respectively.

“Of those eight fatalities, five weren’t wearing a helmet. So what we’d like to do is remind ATV riders that it’s important to wear your helmet,” said Meed.

It may seem like an obvious tip, but helmets can be lifesaving. Helmets also filter out ambient noise, helping isolate sounds that matter.

Meed said that part of the greater problem with safety is that southern Saskatchewan doesn’t have an elaborate trail system.

“So, people will tend to want to go places they shouldn’t be going and, especially, unfamiliar terrain,” he said.

Darcy Shaw, owner of Alsports Sales, has sold ATVs for 25 five years. More people are buying quads, but he said fewer are considering the dangers involved.

“For the most part, safety doesn’t really come up in their buying decisions, no. It’s more: how fast will it go, how much water will it go through? That type of thing,” said Shaw.

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