In Alaska, we use many types of transportation for all kinds of reasons to get from point A to point B. When traveling by all-terrain vehicle (ATV), snow machine, motorcycle, or bike, anywhere, anytime, everyone should wear a helmet – even if it’s a quick trip close to home.
Wearing a helmet is the best way to protect your head and reduce the risk of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Adults can set a positive example for our youth by driving safely and always wearing a helmet.
Facts about Traumatic Brain Injury
TBI is caused by a blow, bump, jolt, or other head injuries that causes damage to the brain. From 2012 to 2016 Alaska Native people:
- Had an average of 200 hospitalizations for TBI every year
- Of those hospitalizations, about 1/5 of TBIs were from ATV, snowmachine and bicycle
Symptoms of TBI are dependent on the following:
- Type of head injury
- The part of the brain that is affected
- The injury’s severity
Whether you’re enjoying the outdoors or just getting around town, biking is a fun, healthy way to get where you need to go. A well-fitting helmet is a must for bikers at every level, helping to protect you from serious brain or head injuries. Start every ride by putting your helmet on so you can keep on riding and having fun, no matter where the road — or trail — takes you!
Tips for a safe bike ride:
- Check your brakes, tire pressure and chain before you ride.
- Always wear a helmet and make sure it fits properly. For more information, view NHTSA’s Fitting Your Bike Helmet Guide.
- Be visible. Wear light and bright colors during the day. Use while light in the front and red lights at the back, reflectors, and white clothing when it is dark or dusk.
- Ride on the right side of the street.
- Always stop and look left-right-left before turning onto a road.
- Make eye contact drivers before crossing in front of them, EVEN if you have the right of way.
- Obey all traffic signs and signals.
- Follow vehicle traffic laws when on the road on the sidewalk follow pedestrian laws.
- Always yield to pedestrians and give an audible signal when approaching a pedestrian.
- Use hand signal when turning or slowing down.
- Alaska’s Statewide Bicycle-Pedestrian Plan and resources and bike events
- Alaska Injury Prevention Center
Plan with TRIPSS
Planning your TRIPSS* is a good way to reduce injuries while driving and operating your ATV:
T – Training
Take a free online ATV training course to learn safety tips at https://atvsafety.org/.
R – Ride Off-Road
When possible, ride on unpaved roads. The ATV’s tires are not made for paved or loose gravel roads – you could lose control.
I – Impairment Danger
Never drive an ATV while impaired.
P – Plan Ahead
Before riding, plan your trip by looking for wire fencing, tree stumps and other dangers. Let someone know where you are going and when you’ll be back.
S – Single Rider
Most ATVs are made for one rider. When possible, drive without passengers.
S – Safety Equipment
Wear a helmet, boots, gloves, long pants and sleeves when riding your ATV.
*TRIPSS safety message adapted from the Arkansas Children’s Hospital Injury Prevention program.
Helmets On series