Honda and Farmers Guardian have teamed up to offer one lucky winner the chance to design their own ATV helmet, as part of campaign to promote the wearing of helmets when operating ATVs.
ATVs are vital pieces of equipment on most farms, however, according to the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE), there are two deaths and thousands of serious injuries in the UK every year as a result of riding ATVs without helmets.
Injuries range from mild concussion to devastating brain damage, causing permanent and severe disabilities.
However, no-one wearing a helmet has ever been killed in a quad accident while working on a UK farm.
To enter the competition to design your own completely bespoke ATV helmet, visit Farmers Guardian’s Facebook and Twitter channels, and in 50 words or less, tell us why you should always wear a helmet when riding an ATV.
Don’t forget to include the hashtag #alwayswearahelmet.
A winner will be chosen by Honda Ambassador Gareth Wyn Jones.
Wyn Jones, commentator for The Royal Welsh Show, lives in Llanfairfechan, North Wales, where his family has farmed for 350 years.
Star of BBC One’s BAFTA nominated show, The Family Farm, and author of ‘The Hill Farmer’, Wyn Jones came to national prominence in the aftermath of a severe snowstorm in 2013 which devastated his livestock.
News reports at the time showed Wyn Jones physically dragging his livestock, which had been trapped for days under heavy snow, to safety on the Carneddau Mountains.
Wyn Jones and his family have been relying on Honda ATVs for the brunt of their farm’s day-to-day work for more than thirty years and are passionate advocates for ATV safety.
Wyn Jones said: “Deaths and life-changing injuries happening every year that could easily be prevented by wearing a helmet. ATVs can become rapidly unstable if incorrectly ridden or not properly maintained.
"Many accidents happen when towing or on steep, unfamiliar ground, and most injuries are usually due to impact with the ground or being struck by the ATV after being thrown off.”
Gareth also recently designed his own ATV helmet. He said: “My design has been inspired by the sunrise and the sunset on the Carneddau mountains, as well as the special Carneddau Mountain ponies, in their natural habitat.
“The mountains are very important to me. We graze 3500 Welsh Mountain sheep on the common land of the Carneddau mountains for six months of the year as part of a communal grazing system that has been around for centuries.
"Each sheep is identified with the farm’s mark and animals are split when they come off the mountain in preparation for lambing outdoors in the spring.
“We also have a suckler herd of 300 cows and followers which graze land over the mountain during the summer months and, as secretary of the Carneddau Mountain Pony Society, it is my job to organise the herd’s annual round up.
“The ponies provide important conservation benefits to the mountain, playing a vital part in the mountain ecology of Snowdonia as well as being embedded in the culture and heritage of north wales.
“Once a year, local farmers and volunteers use ATVs to round up the ponies and bring them down the mountain to a farm near Llanfairfechan, to be counted, recorded and checked for any welfare issues before being returned to the hillside.
"This is an exercise which would take weeks without the use of ATVs, however, although the herd is jointly owned by a group of families, the whole community gets involved. Each member knows the terrain can be rocky, steep or boggy, making it a dangerous place to traverse. The gathering is a complete span of age groups, from small children right up to elderly.
"It’s important that the next generation sees what we do and why, and it is also our responsibility to teach them how to stay safe doing it. We can show them the terrain, but instilling safe practises means leading by example.”
Andrew Parr, Sales Operations Department Manager at Honda Motor Europe Ltd, commented: "As the UK’s leading manufacturer of ATVs we take our commitment to safe and responsible usage incredibly seriously. We encourage all users to wear a helmet and gloves, undertaking some rider training and keep their investment well maintained.
Luke Griggs, Director of Communications at Headway – the brain injury association, said: “Brain injury can affect every area of a person’s life, often stripping away an individual’s independence and basic life skills they once took for granted, impacting everything from walking and talking, to thinking and feeling.
"It can also devastate the lives of family members and loved ones who may suddenly find themselves as carers or feel powerless to help.
“We all think ‘it will never happen to me’, but the reality is an accident can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of the experience or ability of the rider.
"It is therefore vital that people take heed of the warnings and protect themselves. We urge ATV riders to use their heads and use a helmet.”