(WFRV) – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding youth ATV/UTV operators and their parents to operate responsibly with a helmet.

According to the DNR, over the last five years, 70% of fatal crashes involving operators or passengers under the age of 18 occurred on private lands.

Officials say that a lack of helmets, not using seatbelts in UTV, and inexperience are among the top factors in these crashes.

“Parents and guardians need to stay alert and teach children to ride responsibly by making sure they wear helmets and seatbelts, take an ATV safety course and get mentorship from an experienced adult,” said Lt. Warden Jake Holsclaw, DNR Off-Highway Vehicle Administrator.

Crashes resulting in injury or fatality don’t only happen to kids, as the same guidelines for helmets and seatbelt use also apply to adults. The DNR reminds adult riders to always ride sober.

Regardless if the rider is an adult or a child, one of the best things ATV and UTV operators can do to stay safe is to take an online safety course. The course will make sure you’re adequately equipped with the knowledge to operate and ride in an ATV or UTV.

For more information on ATV and UTV recreation in Wisconsin, you can head over to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources website here.