ATV safety in the Black Hills

NEMO, S.D. — There have been 19 ATV related crashes in 2020 with one death. There was only one fatality for all of 2019.

And with calls of ATV accidents on the rise, the experts want you to know how to keep yourself and others safe on the trails.

All-terrain vehicles are a popular activity in the Black Hills, but operating them safely takes some extra attention to procedure. You must be 18 and with a valid drivers license, riders must have insurance in case of damage to the ATV or any of the passengers. Most car insurance companies cover this already.

It is advised not to ride alone in case you get stuck or hurt and are unable to contact anyone due to lack of cell phone service in the Hills. Most ATV accidents are caused by the riders speed, going to fast around tight corners can flip your ATV causing severe injury.

“Most of the trail is 20 miles an hour really and then people just keep coming,” said Kevin Hilger, the Owner of D&K ATV Rentals. “Traffic does go both ways and trails, some of them 60 inches wide and it’s hard to pass each other.”

ATV’s are equipped with GPS systems to help the rider navigate the trails, but there is nothing put in place to track the vehicles once they are out on the trail. Most trails can be accessed by car in case a rider needs rescued, and the Meade County Sheriff’s Office says they’re often called to assist.

“There are a lot of trails that we can get to in our patrol vehicles” said Sgt. Caleb Deyo, of the Meade County Sheriff’s Office. “If we are able to help out with that stuff we certainly will. We do have some access to ATV’s that we can use to get to those areas in the Hills that we can’t get to with our patrol vehicles.”

Although some ATV’s are equipped with 3 to 4 seats, it is important to remain socially distant from other riders on the trails.

If you would like to rent an ATV from D&K ATV Rentals just click the link and it will take you to their website.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News