Two thirds of farmers still not wearing a helmet, new survey reveals

According to new research, two thirds of users still don’t wear a helmet when they ride ATVs because they feel foolish wearing them on their own farm or don’t believe they ride fast enough to warrant them.

To help combat this issue and to ensure that the importance of wearing a helmet is highlighted among users when driving an ATV, Can-Am is introducing its seven golden rules for ATV usage as part of its responsible riding programme.

The report, carried out by Dr Amy Irwin and Jana Mihulkova from the University of Aberdeen, found that 63.5 per cent of respondents stated they owned a helmet but only a third of the sample (29.9 per cent) reported wearing a helmet frequently or always.

The research pinpointed several underlying factors, ranging from personal perceptions about helmets and personal barriers that stop farm workers wearing a helmet when using an ATV on their site.

The results highlighted the following comments:

  1. Personal perceptions:
  • I do not go fast enough to need head protection in a crash
  • I feel that helmets are unnecessary for short rides
  • Helmets are less important for those who ride their ATV infrequently
  • Since I am not racing or doing any stunts I don’t really need a helmet
  • Helmets are only necessary for children aged 16 and below
  • If you are an experienced rider you don’t need a helmet
  • Its more important to drive carefully than it is to wear a helmet
  • You only need a helmet if riding on the road
  • You only need a helmet if riding on hills
  • I would not want to spend money on an ATV helmet
  1. The norms on site:
  • As an adult I feel foolish wearing a helmet just to ride round my property
  • Wearing a helmet makes me look stupid if no-one else is wearing one
  • Hardly anyone I know wears a helmet