Summer is prime time for the nearly 1 million Canadians who own an all-terrain vehicle (ATV). As fun as this popular outdoor activity is, it is not without its share of risks.

Approximately 15 ATV riders are hospitalized every day in Ontario alone. A surprising 11 percent of all ATV injuries result in the total disability of the rider. We all want to have a safe summer ATV outing.

How can you reduce your risk of injury while doing the activity you love? These 7 tips can help.

1. Enroll in a hands-on rider course. ATV drivers who take the time to formally train behind the wheel in common ATV conditions enjoy a lower risk of injury than non-trained drivers. To find a course near you, visit the Canada Safety Council‘s website.

2. Always wear a helmet and protective gear. Even in the hot summer sun, you should always protect your head and body when you ride by wearing a certified helmet, boots that cover your ankles, a long-sleeve shirt, long pants, a pair of goggles and gloves.

3. Drive without a passenger. It is difficult to maintain safe control of your ATV in all situations when you have someone else on board. You‘re better solo than sorry.

4. Don’t drive on paved roads. Always stick to designated trails areas when riding your ATV. They are not designed for driving on paved roads.

5. Keep children away from adult ATVs. Sadly, 25% of ATV-related deaths occur in children according to Safe Kids Canada, Children under 16 who drive or ride on an adult ATV are two times more likely to be injured than when riding a youth ATV.

6. Never drink or do drugs when operating an ATV. Being sober is essential if you‘re going to respond quickly and make good judgment calls on the trails.

7. Insure your ATV. Make sure you have the insurance coverage you need to legally operate your ATV. Talk to your insurance broker about the requirements where you ride and your available coverage options.