ATV riding season is here and with more riders than ever out on the trails, taking steps to improve your ATV safety is a beneficial idea.

The Minnesota Department Of Natural Resources wants to make sure everyone is aware of the regulations and safety training opportunities before they head for the trails or allow youngsters to ride.

According to the DNR, youth riders between the ages of 12-15 are required to complete both an online ATV safety course and a hands-on riding performance class.  Those 16 and older born after July 1, 1987 must complete an online course.

However, there's a tremendous benefit for anyone who operates an ATV to complete safety training because in about 92 percent of the 143 ATV-related fatalities in Minnesota since 2010, the operator didn’t have an ATV safety certificate.

One effective thing everyone can do to increase safety is to wear a helmet.  While it’s recommended all riders wear one, anyone under the age of 18 must wear a DOT-approved helmet whether riding a Class 1 or a larger Class 2 vehicle.

The DNR also says that while regulations are designed to keep riders safe, they can only do so much. It’s up to parents and guardians to make the call whether kids are ready to operate ATVs on their own and to make sure they aren't operating vehicles that are too big.

Follow the link below to more information on safety and to access training.