CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — Several ATV accidents that have happened in the area recently are a reminder that it is crucial to recognize and follow proper safety precautions when operating the vehicle.

ATVs (all-terrain vehicles) like side-by-sides and 4-wheelers, are commonly used for enjoyment, sport riding, farming or commuting place-to-place.

Despite the vehicle’s entertainment and fun nature, they also come with some risks that could lead to an injury or fatality if not used properly.

John Lesson, owner of Lesson’s Import Motors, said that when driving an ATV, you should always wear the proper gear while operating the vehicle to protect the body and head.

“They really must assess the situations and where they’re riding at and everything. But they can make it safer by making sure they wear helmets, goggles, you know, gloves, a good boot.” Lesson said.

While on public roads, the ATV must be equipped with a horn, turn signals, and a license plate, and the driver must follow all state laws regarding ATVs. Make sure to stay alert at all times, as a collision could occur with another vehicle, and never drive under the influence.

Harrison County Sheriff Robert Matheny said, “We will hold people accountable that do things that are wrong. So, know that if you’re out drinking and driving an ATV, and you hurt somebody or you’re involved in a crash, we will prosecute.”

Matheny highly stressed that a person who operates an ATV has some type of official training and be aware of the laws in the community when operating the vehicle.

You can enroll in ATV safety courses by visiting your local DMV or dealership.