All posts by muddsafety

Parents, Let’s Talk About It – ATV Safety

atv safetyAs a mother and ATV Safety awareness trainer, I often get asked the question “why do you teach children and youth to ride ATV’s when it is recommended that they do not ride until they are over the age of 16 years of age?” I hear it time and time again, yet each time I am still taken back by this question.

Why do I teach them? Because we love them and think they are the future of change, because we want to help make our society a safer place, but most of all, because I never again want to feel the pain and compassion when I hear a mother has needlessly lost her child, friend, or family member in an ATV-related accident.

These are the same reasons we teach our communities and youth about Drinking and Driving, the dangers of the Internet and Drugs and Alcohol. Yes, it would be nice if we lived in a society that could ensure that our children were never exposed to these things, but that’s not reality. I support helmet laws, I support the right to restrict your child from riding until they are an adult, I understand the stance of the Canadian Pediatric Societies given the below statistic, and I will continue to advocate for Education, Helmets and community awareness.

Here are some realities to consider:

ATV access and use

ATVs are used by many children in rural and remote areas of Canada, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities.

Of 191 rural grade six children surveyed in 1996, 30% reported having a family ATV and 77% reported having access to a vehicle through family or friends. Since 1996 ATV sale have more than doubled!!!

ATV safety behaviours

Of 594 ATV operators 12 to 20 years of age (mean age 16 years) at a national youth-oriented agricultural convention, 93% indicated that they used an ATV for recreational purposes, with three-quarters also reporting ATV use for work-related activities.

Of that group the median vehicle size was 350 cc, yet only 24% of responders said they always wore a helmet.

Only 22% had ever participated in an ATV safety training program, while 40% indicated feeling that they did not need training or that they were already safe riders.

Among grade six students in rural Manitoba surveyed in 1996, only 35% of riders reported always using a helmet. Riding on inappropriately large vehicles (>90 cc) and on older, three-wheeled models (banned in Canada since the 1980s due to safety concerns) was also common.

ATV crashes and injuries

In Canada, the rate of ATV-related injury hospitalizations(for all ages) rose by 57% between 1996 and 2004.

Hospitalizations increased by 19% among children aged five to nine years old and by 13% among 10-to-14-year-olds.

Males account for 70% to 85% of injuries (involving emergency department visits, hospitalizations and death) with the largest proportion of injuries seen in older youth.

Inexperience, inadequate physical size and strength, immature motor and cognitive development, and tending to engage in risk-taking behaviours all compound injury risks for children and youth operating ATVs.

This is just a small clip of the statistics that can be found on ATV Safety. Yes we can say don’t ride, but that is just not enough. We need to start educating our children and ourselves. Ask yourself this – have you taken an ATV Safety course? Do you always wear a proper fitting helmet? Do you know what to do in an ATV-related emergency? Stop and think about it, if we wait till they are adults to let them ride, will they be better off? Maybe, but chances are they will still need training and education, so let’s start them young and get them trained.

See Ya in the Mudd!

For more information on these statistics and more visit:

How to ride an ATV [Part 1]

Part 1 – Let’s Learn about ATV Specs and Built in Safety Features

When teaching kids to ride ATV’s, it is important for both parents and kids to know a little about the ATV’s they are riding. We are not going to address the good, better, best brands here, as youth ATV’s are commonly made very similar at this cc level.

how to ride an atv

In our experience with training new riders, we find two common areas that are vital for safety that can be overlooked by both the rider and parent.

The first key component is the kill-tether that is located on the back of the ATV. This is a great tool that can be used to teach new riders throttle control and breaking without letting them get to far ahead or losing control. Parents can walk or ride behind the youth while holding the tether, when the child get to far ahead or going to fast, you can pull the tether and the machines engine will stop. This is a good opportunity to discuss why you stopped them. We encourage parents to use this as an alternative to throttle limiters which limit speed, but also enable children to drive with full throttle most of the time. This is not a safe practice as it gives the youth a false sense of the actual speed and power of the machine and does not teach them to properly use the throttle. If you do not feel that your kids are able to understand and control the throttle, then they are too young to ride, period.

The second component is the actual kill-switch located on the handle bars. We encourage everyone to know where your kill-switch is and when we could use it. A kill switch is another feature that is vital to ATV safety. Adults and youth alike need to know and appreciate that sometime there are throttle issues, break issues and machine failures, the kill switch can be used at any time that you feel your machine is not responding. For inexperienced youth riders, this is a last resort if they panic and cannot use their hand break. Kill-switches should always be used with the breaks, not instead of them.

Here you will find a quick video on where to find the above features on most youth ATV’s in addition to the basic specs of a 110cc ATV. Similar videos are available online for most cc levels and brands. This is just one we found describing the features of the ATV’s we use for training purposes.

This is part 1, of our three part series on How to ride an ATV. Keep watching in the new year for parts, 2 and 3.

See Ya in the Mudd!

How To Ride A Quad [Caution Required]

Learning how to ride a quad is like anything else, you can read about it, talk about it, but eventually the only way to actually practice your skills is to get out and get dirty with hands on experience. We strongly recommend taking an online course or better yet some on-site awareness or certification programs. We wanted to point some of the information that comes up when we search “How to Ride a Quad” on the internet. Take some time and make sure you kids are reading about safe riding techniques or at the least that they understand the difference between what is beginner information and advanced. Here are some examples of both. You will quickly notice that everyone has there own idea of what learning to ride means with their own personal touches and to ride a quad

How To Ride a Sport Quad, the RIGHT way!

Ok, here are the 2 most important rules of sport quad riding. First, do not let people on big utility quads intimidate you. Often they buy those kinds of quads because they are too afraid to ride a fast quad, or are scared they will get stuck in the mud without 4WD. But many of them do not even know how to ride. With enough practice, you can do anything they can. Second, while riding a sport quad, you need to use BODY ENGLISH. This is when you lean and shift your weight while riding. It is important you do this, as not doing it can cause you to get stuck or flip over.

Make sure you’ve got both hands on the handlebars an two fingers on the clutch. Clutching is very important while on the harder portions of your ride. Now we get on to the real riding. First is rocks. Getting over rocks can be very hard, depending on your skill and quad. First, I’ll tell you how to get over a rocky section of trail or up a rocky hill climb.

The first part is that you need to stand up and put your hand on the clutch. Then, put it in first or second gear. Next, you need to look at the hill and find a path up. If someone went up before you, try to take the same path they did. If not, then you will need to find your own path. Try to scout out an area that looks not too hard, and if you are looking for challenge, not too easy. WARNING: IF YOU ARE ONLY A BEGINNER, DO NOT TRY TO GET UP EXTREMELY ROCKY TRAILS! There is almost always another trail around. After that, lean back and rev the quad up to around half of the power-band. When you get to the hill, start to take your path and try not to stray off it. If you see an area that will cause your wheel/wheels to dip down, do not go near it, you could flip. Proceed up the hill, gradually increasing throttle, but try to keep your speed the same. Do not spin your tires, and do not let anyone go behind you, do not follow anyone up. Keep going, and before you know it it you’re at the top. Make sure to use LOTS of body english.

Second, we’ll talk about rocky flat trails. These are basically flat trails with many rocks (not gravel) or rough cobblestone roads. For these, stay in second, third, or fourth gear, and go fast. Make sure you lean on the back fenders as much as possible, but do not let the front tires lift more than a few inches. Also, you need to have a quick reaction time for this. More speed now=less backaches later.

Tips For Taking Jumps And Sharp Turns On Your ATV

You may notice that some ATV riders can make certain obstacles and jumps look like child’s play while others make them look dangerous and impassable. Although superior equipment may be partially responsible, experience and familiarity with your quad is what separates the men from the boys. Riding time is the best way to get better, but there are a few techniques, like making you quad pivot around a corner or taking a jump, that can make riding a lot more fun.

If you want to take a corner quickly without losing much speed, depending on your ATV’s setup and capabilities, you may be able to conquer the turn by making your quad pivot around it. Although this technique works best with light, powerful sport quads, it can be used with utility ATV’s as well.

Copied with permission from:
For advance riders this can be helpful information to improve their rider skills and knowledge, but ADVANCED would be the key words for these articles. We need to be talking to our kids and giving them tools to learn the basics first and understand the risks. We don’t teach our kids to drive by reading and watching NASCAR or street racing then handing them the keys for the afternoon; so we should not let that happen with quads. Keep in mind that rollovers, hills and obstacles are the #1 cause of kids and adults being injured on quads.

See Ya in the Mudd!

Tools To Learn How To Ride An ATV

There are many resources on the internet about ATV Safety and tips on how to ride an ATV. We recommend everyone take a hands-on basic awareness or certification program. For those of you that would like to get some basic information about riding before making a purchase or get some online tips about ATV Safety and Riding, here are some resources:

Ride Safe, Ride Smart

how to ride an atv

The primary goal of the Ride Safe, Ride Smart DVD is to demonstrate the safe and responsible use of ATVs thereby assisting in reducing accidents and injuries that could result from improper ATV operation by the rider. This nine-minute video is a rider-friendly look at how to get a proper start in ATV riding. It profiles two families; one who rides for recreation only, the other who uses their ATVs first for working on the farm, then as camping and trail riding machines. Both sets of parents lead by example, emphasizing riding an ATV that is right for your age, wearing proper protective gear and respecting the environment. They also recommend taking an ATV RiderCourse to get the most from your ATV, enjoy the opportunity to meet other enthusiasts, and find out about the best places to ride.
Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributor Council
Toll free 1-877-470-2288

The ATV Safety Institute’s free ATV E-Course

The ATV Safety Institute (ASI) offers three age specific e-learning courses to address basic ATV safety principles. Adults, teens and children will learn how to apply the “golden rules” of ATV riding in an
interactive setting while enjoying opening comments from Kyle Massey from the hit TV show, Cory in the House. The course includes videos, pictures, and interactive games to make it a fun and effective learning experience for all age groups. After taking the course, users can take an ATV safety exam and receive a certificate of completion.
The entire course takes approximately 2-2.5 hours to complete. You can stop at any point and your progress will be saved so that you can return and pick up right where you left off.

Simply click CREATE NEW ACCOUNT below and complete the enrollment information to gain access to the courses. It’s free, fun and a great learning experience for ATV riders of all ages.

Visit or call 800.887.2887 or:

ATV Safety Institute
2 Jenner, Suite 150
Irvine, CA 92618-3806
(949) 727-3727


We hope these resources are helpful, if your require additional information or resources please contact us and we will be happy to help you connect to courses or tools for your family at:
See Ya in the Mudd!

ATV Safety Tips For The Family

ATV Safety Tips

There is so much talk about ATV safety tips, but when it really comes down to it, there is only so much we can do to keep our riders safe.  As parents and riders we need to be continually talking about safety and ensuring the whole family has the skills and gear to have fun on the trails and working on the farm.  Here are the top 5 ATV SAFETY TIPS:

1)  Ensure everyone has access to size appropriate gear and helmets.

 Always Wear Protective Gear – Especially a Helmet – When Riding ATVs 

  • Over-the-ankle boots – to protect feet and ankles from injury.
  • Goggles – to protect eyes from rocks and dust thrown up by ATVs.
  • Gloves – to protect fingers and hands.
  • Long pants and long-sleeved shirt – to protect skin from rocks, trees, and other debris.

2)  ATVs are designed for interactive riding.

Do Not Drive ATVs With a Passenger or Ride as a Passenger 

The driver’s body movement plays an integral part of the handling of an ATV and the  driver must be able to shift his or her weight freely in  at all times.   If passengers get in the way or shift their weight improperly, the driver may not be able to safely control the ATV. In addition, most ATVs are not equipped with handholds or footrests for passengers and are not weighted to handle the extra weight on the back of the ATV, creating a higher risk for rollover. 

How do you know if your ATV is for a Single or Double rider?  Single rider ATVs display a warning label to remind drivers not to carry passengers. New “2-Up” ATVs on the market are specifically designed to carry a driver with a single passenger. According to manufacturers, these ATVs should never be used to carry children under 12 or to carry more than one passenger.

3)  Cars and ATV do not mix.

Do Not Drive ATVs on Paved Roads 

ATVs on paved roads are at risk of being hit by cars and other vehicles. While passenger vehicles contain safety features designed to protect occupants from collisions, ATVs do not.

In addition, most ATVs have low pressure tires and a solid rear axle, where both wheels turn at the same speed. When making a turn, the ATV’s inside rear wheel is intended to skid because its path length is less than the path length of the outside wheel.   ATVs on paved surfaces have much better traction, which prevents the necessary skidding. This can make turning an ATV on paved surfaces unpredictable and unstable.

4)  Size Matters, skill matters and age matters.

Do Not Permit Children to Drive or Ride Adult ATVs

Children under 16 years old lack the developmental skills to safely drive adult ATVs. These ATVs – with engine sizes over 90 cubic centimeters (cc) – can go over 70 mph and weigh hundreds of pounds.   If this is not possible in your family, please consider these points at all times.

a)  Children under 6 should never be on an ATV – either as a driver or passenger. Young children lack the physical ability and mental skills to safely maneuver a motorized vehicle with multiple speeds and controls.  If it needs to be throttle limited or “speed governor” they are too young to ride.

b)  The most common accident for youth riding ATV are flat ground rollovers where the rider did not have to strength or motor skills to control the weight of the ATV.  Consider the weight of your child vs. the weight of the ATV?

5)  For Goodness Sake just use common sense.

This final safety tip is by far the best. Your common sense can carry you a long way, especially involving your safety.  Look around, know your terrain and surroundings, know where to get help, be constantly aware of your riding area, this could just save yours or someone else live!!

                                                                                                      SEE YA IN THE MUDD!            

Do Not Drive ATVs While Under the Influence                                              Do not speed.

Carry a communication device with you at all times.                                    Do not attempt tricks or stunts.

Don’t drive an ATV at night.                                                                               Do a pre-ride inspection.                   

ATV Safety Course – There Is Only One Answer

Like all education, ATV SAFETY EDUCATION is a life long adventure. This should start at a young age with the basics of ATV Safety Awareness and move to skill development, certification and refresher ATV Safety courses.atv safety course

In Canada, there are many local and provincial laws regulating the use of ATV on public lands and trails, but these rules do not extend to private property. Due to our strong rural communities and abundance of agricultural land in this vast country, public land riding accounts for a very small portion of ATV use.

ATV have now become working vehicles on most farms and acreages. This together with the recreational riding which takes place on the acres and acres of privately owned lands across Canada, is why legislation, enforcement and rules are not the answer. Education is the only way to ensure families, communities and provinces can bring ATV Safety to everyone.

Here is a quick list of resources to find training in your community:

ATV SAFETY COURSE – Awareness Training and Resources

ATV SAFETY COURSE – Certification Training
For more information on training and education resources, please contact us at:




“Team Muddy Girlz” Now Riding ATVs Throughout Alberta – Women Only Safety Program

women atv safety programOver the last few seasons we have had many requests to offer training similar to our youth programs but specialized for women and mothers that are wanting an ATV Safety program.
Starting this fall, we will traveling throughout Alberta offering regular monthly Ladies only programs. This fun hands on program will be called “Team Muddy Girlz”.
“We are very excited to offer this program to women and hope they can embrace and empower themselves to get outside and enjoy the fun of ATVing in a safe manner, that lets them feel confident that they can safely ride and respond to emergencies if ever needed” said Jodie Stauffer.
This one of a kind program will include both group discussions and actual riding in a fun laid back atmosphere. Women will be encouraged to talk about their fears for both themselves and their children and will be discussing ways to keep their families safe whether at home on private land or while away in public settings.
This one day program is a mobile based program and can be offered in most areas of Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan.
For more information or to book your session in your community please contact us at 1-855-Muddy4U or email
See Ya in the Mudd!

Will ATV Laws Make A Difference?

atv lawsAlberta government says ATV safety rules not needed.
Response comes after 2 weekend deaths and calls for legislation.
CBC News Posted: Oct 10, 2012 5:57 AM MT Last Updated: Oct 10, 2012 7:42 AM MT
Despite fresh pleas from the medical community and two new deaths over the weekend, Alberta’s transportation minister says legislation covering ATV safety isn’t needed.
A nine-year-old boy from southern Alberta and a four-year-old from B.C. died in separate crashes on the weekend.
Minister Ric McIver said he’s happy to let parents make their own rules. “Government tries to make rules that make things generally safe, but for minors parents are the very best safety devices that they are furnished with,” said McIver. “The very best tools to keep children safe in Alberta, or any place, are mom and dad.”
Dr. Louis Francescutti, the president of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, said it’s time the government forced changes. Critics, including Liberal health critic David Swann, are again calling for tougher laws covering helmet and seatbelt use following the deaths. “Their obviously in this government not listening to the experts like Dr. Francescutti and the Canadian Pediatric Society and it’s obvious they’re not listening to Albertans, because in their own survey, in 2008, 80 per cent plus said we want mandatory helmets for ATV users,” said Swann.

Boy, 4, dies in ATV accident

A four-year-old boy is dead after an all-terrain vehicle rolled over in Glade, B.C., between Castlegar and Nelson.Glade, B.C.Mounties say a 33-year-old man was driving the ATV Monday afternoon with his step-son when the vehicle flipped, landing on top of them.Both were wearing helmets. The man suffered serious back injuries. The boy was pronounced dead at the scene. The B.C. Coroners service is investigating.

Child, 9, dies in off-road crash

A nine-year-old boy died in Southern Alberta after an all-terrain vehicle rollover.RCMP in Picture Butte, north of Lethbridge, were called to the Iron Springs area at about 7:50 p.m. on Sunday. “Police were advised that the passenger of the vehicle, a nine-year-old boy, was not breathing and CPR was being conducted. Police were also informed that Stars Air Ambulance was en route to Lethbridge,” local RCMP said in a press release. The boy, who police haven’t named, wasn’t wearing a helmet. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Family ATV Trails: Here We Come Rocky Top ATV Park

rocky top atv park

If you are like me and hearing about this family ATV riding park for the first time, then you will be a thrilled as I am to spread the word.

I met Jana Spiker this past weekend and want you to have the chance to hear what her family has done to give us a safe place to ride within an hour or so of Edmonton. The below is a short introduction to the Spiker family and Rocky Top ATV Park.

“For those of you who are just finding us for the first time let us introduce ourselves. We are Kelly and Jana Spiker and our children, who you will no doubt meet from time to time, are Brandon, Jacqueline, Zachary and Mj. I cannot forget our dog Ella. I am sure you will see her close by! We have been in the Jarvie area since 1996 and have been involved with many different aspects of the community.
This campground and atv park came to life after Kelly and Brandon found that there was really no where in the area to ride their quads! And if they were having trouble, certainly you were too! The quarter section that was purchased to develop the park is in the perfect spot! We are right off the pavement, and are within 15 minutes to Cross Lake, Long Island Lake as well as ForeFar park!
Our goal is for families to come and relax. Our trails vary in different skill levels and the perimeter of the quarter is fenced so the kids can not wander off. It is a great place for the new riders to start and there are some dandy hills for the more daring rider to explore!”  Janet Spiker.

rocky top atv parkFor a small fee, the Rocky Top ATV Park has many amenities for the family. From Picnic Tables, Fire Pits, Mug Bog Pits to Coin operated cold water pressure washer camping and much more.

Take a few minutes to view their website at .

See Ya in the Mudd.

Mudd Safety.

ATVing is not Just a summer sport for us Crazy Canucks


atving not just a summer sport

As Canadians we get outside rain, or shine, warm or cold.  It is important to make sure you take some extra precautions in the cold months to prepare yourself and your ATV.

The Great Outdoors is calling, but check out these tips before you go:

  1. Use your head and protect it too. Always wear an appropriate helmet and encourage your friends to do the same.
  2. ATVs and alcohol don’t mix! ATVs are like any other motor vehicle; don’t ride while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  3. Be prepared. Ensure that ALL equipment is functioning properly. Pack an emergency kit and tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to return. Dress appropriately for the weather and bush conditions and wear bright clothing.
  4. Size does matter. Younger children are too small to properly control a large ATV and can be seriously injured or even killed in ATV accidents. Adult-sized ATVs are powerful machines that should not be operated by anyone younger than sixteen. Don’t overload your vehicle with items OR people.  Never ride with passengers unless your ATV is specially designed for this.
  5. Responsible riding rules!  Share the outdoors with other riders, campers, and hikers. Respect the land and its animals, so future generations can ride too.


  1. When riding on public land make sure your registration and insurance are up to date. Properly attach your licence plate and carry proof of your insurance.
  2. Check your helmet. Invest in a new one if it’s damaged by any dents or cracks.
  3. Give your ATV a twice-over. Do a full walk around before each ride.  Check that all equipment, including brakes, lights, engine, and tires are in good condition and functioning properly.
  4. Familiarize yourself with local regulations and bylaws regarding ATV usage.
  5. Get your emergency kit ready to go, including any or all of the following: blanket, snacks/food, waterproof matches, a whistle, insect repellant and sunblock, a flashlight, spare fuel, tea or coffee, water/water purification tablets, duct tape, signal mirror, tool kit, first aid supplies, rope, flares, spare keys, a sharp knife, and/or compass.
  6. If your children want to ride, consider an ATV safety course and size appropriate ATV. 8. Have fun and See you in the Mudd!