Severe Thunderstorm Watch in effect for much of central Indiana until 10 p.m.

Conservation officers remind Hoosiers of ATV safety tips after 9 accidents over weekend

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – As the weather warms up, DNR conservation officers are reminding Hoosiers to follow safety tips after nearly a dozen off road vehicle accidents across the state last weekend.

DNR reports there were nine accidents since Friday statewide. Three people involved were under the age of 18.

"We want people to go out and recreate, we just want them to do it safely," Captain Bill Browne said.

Officers said make sure you have proper sized equipment, including vehicles that are age-appropriate, take your time, ride within your limits and wear all safety gear, including a helmet.

"Let's face it, these things are fun, they're built for fun, they're built for enjoyment," Browne said. "You get out, spin, you're trying to get a little faster into the curve and what not and the topsy turvey of those things, it gets you and they roll and when a 750 pound machine is rolling it can hurt you."

DNR reports more than 200 accidents each year. From 2015 to 2017, it reports nearly 800 injuries. In 2015, there were six fatalities, including seven kids and teens. In 2016, there were 23 fatalities including seven kids and teens. In 2017, there were 17 fatalities, including three under the age of 18. But DNR reports none since July 1, when Indiana's new helmet law took effect.

"You're required to wear a helmet when you're under the age of 18 so we have actually seen that the accidents have lessened in the amount of injury or the severity of the injury since this helmet law passed last July," Browne said.

But conservation officers want to make sure no one else loses their life or is injured this summer. For more safety tips click here.

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