by Tashun Chism
As the weather warms up, chances are you'll see more people on ATVs. They're a popular form of recreation for many East Texans. Many people even think of them as toys.
EasTex Tractor and Powersports General Manager Kris Crenshaw said, "Anything that you don't truly have to have to make a living with, that's the thought for it. And it's a recreational sport so, in a way it is a toy to a big group."
And kids aren't the only ones riding them.
"It's a family sport so all ages can really have a hand in it. Mostly your 16 year olds and older are your biggest group," Crenshaw told us.
ATVs can be as dangerous as they are fun. They can go as fast as 55 miles per hour and can weigh as much as a quarter of a ton.
"They can be dangerous if you don't ride them correctly. They can also be as safe as you want them to be. So, it all depends on how how experienced the rider is," Crenshaw said.
Whether you're experienced or not, there are certain guidelines all ATV riders should follow:
-Drive at a moderate speed and be aware of your surroundings.
-Always wear protective gear: Since most ATV injuries are head injuries, it's especially important to wear a helmet.
-Do not drive ATVs with a passenger or ride as a passenger: Most ATVs are only made to carry one person at a time.
-Do not ride on paved roads: ATVs can be hard to control on paved roads since they're made for off road conditions. Using paved roads also increases your chances of being hit be a car.
-Do not allow children to drive or ride adult ATVs.