KOLR10's Brett Martin joins us now with more on how you can stay safe while enjoying ATVs and other extreme vehicles.
Hundreds of people are killed or injured in ATV and dirt bike accidents each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission including right here in Missouri.
Justin Rogers is a Senior at Republic High School and weeks away from graduation but two years ago, he was not sure if he would make it to that day.
"One time, it just took one time."
He and his father remember that April night all too well.
"We were going around that corner and he was ahead of me, I didn't see the gravel since he had the headlights. The back tire caught it and the bike slipped out from underneath me and I ended up hitting a pile of rocks."
"I hit that and then I rolled once with the bike and then the bike ended up shooting out and I rolled another two or three times."
Scott Rogers was out of town and says shock set in when he got the call.
"He made two stupid choices and one really good choice," says Rogers.
Jason Martin from Cox Health helped treat Justin and says with warmer weather comes more accidents.
"You can tell from our types of patients that come in when the weather starts getting warmer."
Justin spent a week in the hospital with a long list of injuries.
"I broke three of my ribs, I got a punctured lung basically and I tore my liver."
Martin says the injuries were severe, but if Justin would not have been wearing helmet, it could have been much worse.
"Head injuries are our primary concern and that is what is going to give people the most trouble and actually is the number one cause of death," explains Martin.
There are ways to keep yourself safe when riding atvs like these. Wearing helmets and body pads, paying attention to rules posted right on the vehicles and taking a training course before driving.
Karen Reith is an ATV safety instructor and says knowing how to manage your vehicle is key.
"You need to know, so many people have been taught by their dad or their uncle or somebody that just jumped on and went, if you learn the right way in the beginning it can save you a lot of trouble."
She teaches a safety course about the basic skills to four-wheeling.
"They'll be working on turning corners, making sure all wheels are on the ground, you are not flipping over, the way to shift your weight and where you are going to look."
She says no matter how experienced you may be, one mistake can run a perfect day of riding.
"Even if you are an every day rider, people get a little bit slack."
Two years later and one life lesson, Justin is ready to ride again.
"I dont ride anymore, I haven't had the opportunity I would but I just havent had the opportunity."
If you would like to learn how you can sign up for the ATV Safety Institute course, follow this link.
The course is free to anyone that has purchased an ATV. Three people can train on the same ATV with the same VIN number.
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