Staying safe on four wheels, ATV safety tips

By Jillian Marshall

May 28, 2014 Updated May 28, 2014 at 10:37 PM EST

Town of Fenton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) After a fatal ATV crash in Chemung County, local ATV professionals want to make sure riders stay safe this spring and summer.

According to Rick Martinichio, a manager at Binghamton Honda, the number one way to stay safe on an ATV, or all-terrain vehicle, is to wear a helmet.

"Your head is the worst thing to not protect. When you get in an accident, a bump to your head can cause severe damage with your brain," Martinichio said.

He also recommends wearing something over your eyes. Martinichio said that could be anything from professional goggles to just sunglasses.

As far as safety gear to wear, he also adds to wear a boot or a shoe that protects your ankles as well.

Martinichio said it's mostly negligence of not wearing the right gear that causes serious injuries, and seasoned riders are the ones that need to pay attention to what they wear.

"Some of the beginner riders, they're a lot more cautious, so they take things a big slower, and do turns a little better. Where people who are used to it, they're almost a little more negligent cause they feel indestructible and that's when you can run into some problems," Martinichio said.

He warned riders to be wary of how many people the ATV is built to support. If it's made for just one person, having a passenger could throw off the weight distribution and make the ATV harder to handle.

Lastly, but extremely important, he said to never drink and drive an ATV.