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Time to focus on ATV safety

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With the general hunting season for white tailed deer just days away, landowners and hunters are urged to use caution on all-terrain vehicles that are used as part of the hunts.

“Many Texans have died in ATV-related accidents,” said Barbara Mazurek, the president of the Bandera County Farm Bureau, in a news release. “ATVs are a popular way to get around the farm, ranch or deer lease, but that convenience also come with a certain risk.”

There are about 650 deaths and 100,000 injuries each year involving ATVs, the bureau’s news release quoted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission as saying.

Many of the fatalities involve children, the commission said.

“It’s vital that we monitor children and teens on ATVs,” Mazurek said. “One mistake could lead to tragic outcomes. Everyone needs to make sure safety is the highest priority while afield.”

The product safety commission advises hunters to follow these rules of the trail to make safety a part of the plan and to reduce ATV-related deaths and injuries:

• Do not drive ATVs on paved roads;

• Do not allow children under 16 to drive or ride on a full-sized ATV;

• Do not drive ATVs with a passenger or ride as a passenger;

• Always wear a helmet and other protective gear, like boots, eye protection gloves and long-sleeved shirts;

• Take a hands-on safety training course.

For more information on ATV safety, visit