As Qatar welcomes the much-anticipated camping season, the Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) has proactively issued a set of ATV safety guidelines to ensure the well-being of adventure enthusiasts.
The “Know Before You Go” campaign, spearheaded by the Hamad Injury Prevention Program (HIPP), is a crucial initiative aimed at reducing the number of ATV-related incidents, which tend to spike during this time of the year.
The urgency of these guidelines is backed by alarming statistics from the Qatar National Trauma Registry. Last year, 56 individuals suffered moderate to severe injuries while engaging in ATV activities in popular spots like Sealine and Mesaieed.
Notably, 40% of these incidents involved children under the age of 15, underscoring the need for increased awareness and precautionary measures, as per the HMC report.
Rafael Consunji, the director of HIPP, has emphasized the critical nature of these guidelines, stating, “Understanding and implementing these safety measures can significantly reduce the risk of injury.”
Aisha Abeid, assistant director of HIPP, further cautions, “ATVs are not toys and are not designed for children. They require mature judgment and physical capabilities that young children have not yet developed.”
The “Know Before You Go” safety tips are comprehensive, advocating for the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as helmets, gloves, and ankle boots.
The guidelines also strongly advise against children under the age of 12 operating ATVs, in line with recommendations from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, which also discourages the use of ATVs over 90cc by individuals under 16.
In addition to personal safety gear, HMC’s guidelines stress the importance of using ATVs only in designated areas and under the supervision of responsible authorities. They also highlight the need to avoid peak activity periods, particularly on Fridays between 2 pm and 10 pm, when the majority of ATV-related injuries occur.
The guidelines conclude with a stark reminder that ATVs are intended for off-road use only and are not equipped for safe operation on public roads. This distinction is vital for ensuring the safety of both ATV riders and the general public.