Training for safe ATV operationIn May Alaska Safe Riders held All-Terrain-Vehicle (ATV) and Side-by-Side (UTV) training courses near the Jim Creek Recreation Site just outside of Palmer. During the second four-day class, professional trainers taught riders from the Chugach National Forest Service and the United States Department of Agriculture key elements for teaching others how to operate, maintain and safely maneuver ATV’s and UTV’s in the field.

The choices made by the students in these classes taught by Alaska Safe Riders, shows their commitment to life and safety.

On the evening of the third day of the instructor training class, just three miles from the trailhead, a 38-year-old man visiting Alaska from Colorado was found pinned and deceased under an ATV at the bottom of a steep embankment. Alaska State Troopers reported that the victim was not wearing any safety gear at the time and alcohol was determined to be a contributing factor to the accident. A tragic ending to an Alaska visit.

The irony of this incident hit Alaska Safe Riders instructor and executive director Mike Buck hard. “We’ve been working so hard to host training sessions and spread safety messages and here we were, just a few miles away and unable to prevent or help in this situation.”

The choices this man made to ride an off-road vehicle with no safety protection and while under the influence resulted in tragedy. His family must now live with the outcome of his decisions.

“It’s up to each of us to make choices that not only protect ourselves, but also protect the people we love who will be hurt the most if our decisions lead to tragedy,” said Buck.

“It’s far too common we see people, especially youth, riding ATV’s along roadways throughout the Valley with no helmet, no safety goggles and no protective clothing. Too often, these are the people who end up in the emergency room getting gravel scraped out of their forearms, having to deal with a life-threatening brain injury, mangled and torn flesh and broken bones.

“We encourage everyone who operates an off-road vehicle to take the time to invest in education and safety equipment,” said  Training Jim CreekBuck. “It can make all the difference between a fun, amazing adventure or a lifetime of pain, suffering or worse.”

July is ATV safety awareness month. Take the time to talk with your children about ways they can enjoy riding safely. Make sure you have the right protective equipment and use it properly.

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ATV trips into remote areas can be exciting and adventurous, but they also come with risks. It is important to take safety precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Emergency Gear:

Always carry emergency gear with you, such as a first aid kit, mud extraction gear, fire starter, a repair kit, and extra food and water. In case of an emergency, these items can be lifesaving.


Make sure to carry a communication device with you, such as a satellite phone, InReach or Zolio. This will allow you to call for help in case of an emergency. It is also important to let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return.

Ride Plan:

Before heading out on your ATV trip, make sure to plan your route and let someone know your plan. This includes the route you plan to take, the estimated time of arrival, and the expected time of return. This will help rescuers find you in case of an emergency. Get One Here

In Alaska, it is also important to be aware of the weather conditions and the terrain. The weather can change quickly, and the terrain can be challenging. Always wear appropriate clothing and protective gear, and be prepared for any weather conditions. Check current conditions here

By following these safety tips, you can enjoy your ATV trip into remote areas while staying safe and ensuring you are prepared for most situations.

Preparing to ride