Going too fast, checking GPS on the fly leads to ATV crash

Safety Alert Type: 
British Columbia
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A Field Ops contractor was riding an ATV at the end of the day along a deactivated logging road, at approximately 45km/h. The rider took their eyes off the road to look at their GPS unit and as a result did not notice a significantly sized pothole down the road.

At the last second the rider stood up and leaned back to help the front tires clear the hole but as a result the back axle took the full force. The rider was ejected off the machine and luckily sustained only relatively minor injuries (i.e., bruising & cuts requiring stitches).

Potential Hazards

  • Driving too fast for road conditions or familiarity with particular road section.
  • Taking eyes off the road to look at GPS unit (i.e. distracted driving).
  • Not effectively using the SIPDE approach (i.e., Scan, Identify, Predict, Decide, and Execute).


Learnings and Suggestions: 

Preventative Actions

  • Contractor’s policy, as part of their safety program, will be reviewed with each worker reminding them the maximum speed for travelling on an ATV is 35km/h.
  • Workers will be reminded that they must only ever travel at a speed that is appropriate for the road conditions and their own riding ability.
  • Workers will be reminded that they must always keep their eyes focused completely on the road (i.e., SIPDE) and that they must safely pull over to a complete stop to check navigational aids (i.e., GPS, maps etc).


For more information on this submitted alert: 

Tyson von den Steinen, Canadian Forest Products Ltd (250) 962-3229 Tyson.vondenSteinen@canfor.com 

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