The New ATV Legislation: Importance Of Wearing A Proper Helmet
The incident of rollovers in ATVs has been a major cause of many fatal injuries and death almost every year. You may check the Quad bike fatality data to see the fatality rate related to ATVs, Quad bikes, and SSV. One major reason for this is: NOT WEARING A PROPER HELMET. So, because of this, a new ATV legislation was made and started its effectivity last year.
Importance of wearing a proper helmet when riding an ATV
25% of the ATV related deaths in Australia are caused by head injuries. Therefore, to prevent adding to this percentage, wearing a proper helmet is important to anyone who rides an ATV or a quad bike.
Potential accidents while riding an ATV or Quad bike
Accidents such as the following can happen in a blink of an eye and when you least expect it.
These accidents can end you up pinned, crushed, or thrown out by the ATV, which can cause:
- Broken ribs
- Loss of limb
- Broken arms
- Skull fractures
- Crushed wrists
- Internal bleeding
- Spinal cord injury
- Cerebral contusion
- Traumatic brain injury
- Injuries to internal organs
These injuries can lead you to death. That’s why we strongly recommend wearing proper ATV riding gear like a HELMET.
How does an ATV helmet protect
Choosing and wearing a proper helmet when riding an ATV can reduce potential head injuries in case an accident happens.
Helmets for ATV riding are specialised and delicately made according to the head and brain’s structure. This safety gear aims to reduce the force of impact or collision into the head. Here are the 3 ways how helmets work and protect you from fatal head injuries.
1. Helmets manage the impact of head trauma and reduce the skull’s deceleration as well as brain movement. The soft material inside the helmet absorbs some of the impacts that cause the head to halt slowly. This prevents the brain from hitting the skull in a hard force.
2. It acts as a mechanical barrier between the impacting object and the head. Therefore, direct contact between the object and the skull is prevented.
3. The helmet spreads the force of impact and prevents it from concentrating on a particular area of the head.
These helmet functions are achieved by the combination of four components.
- Rigid outer shell
- Impact-absorbing liner
- Comfort padding
- Retention system (chin strap)
Take note that helmets can protect the head but not the other parts of the body. Therefore, wearing other safety gear can also add better protection for you while riding an ATV.
You should also know that the size, type, and even brand of the helmet you’ll choose will be significant to your protection.
Choosing the right helmet for ATV riding
Here’s how to choose the right helmet for you if you go ride an ATV or Quad bike.
Wearing just any helmet will not give you the proper protection that you need. There are standards you must check to ensure that the helmet you’ll use is compliant with the law.
Choose a helmet that meets these helmet standards:
- AS/NZS 1698:2006 Protective Helmets For Vehicle Users
- AS/NZS 1698 or Australian Standard 1698-1988
See to it that it has a mark of compliance with these 3 helmet standards. Read more about it here.
To get the right size of helmet that perfectly fits your head, follow the steps below.
- Get your head measured
- Place it firmly on your head and close the chin strap. See if you’re comfortable with it. Check if it does not wobble or if the buckle does not lose easily.
- Try rotating the helmet from side to side. It should stay firm and does not rotate on your head. You can also tilt it forward and backwards and it must remain in its position. If it slips, then it’s not the right size for you.
- The last thing to check is if the helmet easily comes off from your head. You can check this by tilting your head. You can also ask for someone to help you try to remove the helmet from your head with an upward force. If it comes off while the chin strap is closed, then it will most likely come off easily during a crash.
Aside from the size of the helmet, the type of it is also important in choosing the helmet that best suits you. Here are some of your choices:
A full-face helmet offers maximum protection and is the best choice for ATV riders. This also gives greater chin protection as this is the area most commonly hit in a crash.
This type of helmet offers more ventilation; however, it will not be able to protect your chin during an accident.
Open face helmets can provide more protection to the ears and head sides. This also allows more ventilation to the rider but, this won’t protect your chin.
Last but not least is the dual-sport helmets that are suitable for riding both on-road and off-road. They have face shields like the on-road helmet but have enough room for you to wear a pair of goggles.
Wearing a helmet is not a fashion but rather for prioritising your protection. Getting the right helmet for ATV riding is very important. So, make sure to follow the guidelines above and choose the right helmet before riding your ATVs or Quad bikes.