SAND HOLLOW STATE PARK, Utah (ABC4) – Off-roading is an adventure, but it’s easy for that adventure to take a turn for the worst.
“Unfortunately we do have quite a few incidents here at Sand Hollow State Park and on the neighboring sand dunes, on average we have two or three medical calls a week where people will roll their machines or go over a sand dune the wrong way,” says Jonathan Hunt, the Sand Hollow State Park Manager.
According to data from Intermountain Healthcare, in 2020, 25% of all ATV and OHV incidents in Southern Utah were severe or critical. Within 70% of those incidents, people weren’t wearing helmets or safety gear.
“Helmets, if you’ve got a helmet, put it on, on UTVs we’re stressing more of the seatbelts and harnesses. Your machine is going to come with safety equipment, please use it,” says Hunt.
Hunt says you should be alert to oncoming traffic and have a red or orange “whip flag” when riding in sand dune areas. Tristan Atwood of The Beach at Sand Hollow says they only allow tours due to safety concerns and changing weather.
“You could have a wind storm one day and what you were hitting the day before could be completely different the next day,” says Atwood.
Atwood says when riding up along a sand dune, do not go against them, to prevent a rollover.
“You want to gain your momentum prior to when you hit the hill, so you want to go up and keep following and just follow all the way down,” says Atwood.
And if your vehicle starts rolling, keep your hands and feet inside.
“Passengers in all the machines today they do have a bar in front of you of some sort so you do want to hold onto the bar, the driver the steering wheel, either that or cross over your chest,” says Atwood.
Hunt and Atwood say by following simple steps like these, you can prevent a life changing experience.
For more information on ATV and OHV safety click here.