The University of Vermont Medical Center said it’s seeing an increase in ATV-related injuries this year. The hospital said through the end of May it has treated 17 people at the emergency department for ATV-related injuries, up from six in the same period in 2019 and four in 2018, WCAX-TV reported.

The number of ATV-related injuries in children is also up, with five so far this year, compared to an average of less than one the last two years. With more people riding all-terrain vehicles because of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s more important than ever to learn about safe operation, said the Vermont ATV Sportsman’s Association.

“Sales (of ATVS) are through the roof,” said Danny Hale, the group’s executive director. “A lot of the people that are recent purchasers of these units, didn’t grow up that way, so it’s foreign to them.”

Manufacturers provide the opportunity for training and some people may take advantage of it but it’s not required, he said. Members of VASA must follow certain safety guidelines, Hale said.

“Our bylaws clearly state that you must wear a helmet when participating on our trails. We do our best to make sure everyone understands what they’re supposed to be doing,” Hale said.