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Recreational ATV riding is a growing trend in the ArkLaTex - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Recreational ATV riding is a growing trend in the ArkLaTex

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ArkLaTex -

You hunters and outdoors men know how fun ATVs can be. Our regions ranks high in All Terrain Vehicle use and unfortunately in accidents as well.

The All Terrain Vehicle or ATV as it's known has gone through quite a revolution over the past 40 years. The infant version had only 3 wheels but then made the much improved jump to the more familiar quad runner version making the cycle more stable when it changed from 3 wheels to 4.

The idea and production exploded into a big business. Single rider or side by side, these motorized machines are a load of fun to ride plus the ATV is essential for job sites or the farm.

"ATVs are a wonderful hunters tool to make life a whole lot simpler when you do take some game to get it out of the woods" says Captain Richie McCarty with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Millions of ATVs are bought and sold each year. Where some people see a sloppy muddy road, others see a challenge of conquest. The recreational aspect of the ATV is off the charts enjoyment.

"It's great recreation. It's becoming more and more popular and more and more places to ride opening up. There is two wheel drive, four wheel drive and automatic versus manual shift and there are some more sport versus utility oriented" says Mark Alleman, General Manager of Alleman Cycleplex.

ATV riders ride to have fun but ride smart. Make sure to have a helmet for your head, eye protection, proper clothing, boots and gloves to wear. Man this is fun but that fun comes with responsibility.

"No person under the age of 6 should be on an ATV and if the person is under the age of 16, they should not be on an adult ATV" says Elaine Pahilian, Injury Prevention Coordinator at University Health.

The most popular and most ridden ATV is the standard single rider four-wheeler.

"ATVs are meant to be single rider vehicles. Very often you will see an adult driving a machine with a child sitting behind or in front of them and if they go over a bump or go up a hill, the secondary rider falls off the ATV and injures themselves" says Pahilian.

While the law doesn't require helmets, common sense does. Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas all have higher than average ATV fatality rates and unfortunately, accidents involving children are also higher locally.

In Louisiana, children make up 60 percent of emergency room visits for ATV accidents.

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