9 Tips for a Safe Hayride
It seems like there’s a fall festival every weekend in October. Families come out to enjoy the cooler weather and sip cider while decorating pumpkins. And, of course, they always scramble onto wagons for traditional hayrides. If your church or organization is hosting hayrides this year, we want to help you keep it as safe and fun for riders as possible. So, we’ve compiled a few tips for a safe hayride:
Plan a safe route.
Pick a route that avoids public road, steep grades, sharp turns, uneven ground, and poorly drained soil.
Choose the right driver.
Pick a responsible person to serve as your hayride conductor and make sure he or she feels comfortable driving a tractor and pulling a wagon.
Inspect your equipment.
Make sure the wagon has walls or railings that passengers can grab during the ride, and check it for loose boards, splinters, sharp edges, and exposed screws or nails. Finally, inspect the hitch and safety chains, as well.
Pull one wagon at a time.
Avoid a “snaking” effect by only pulling one wagon at a time.
Check the straw.
Only use dry straw because it can become a slippery hazard when wet.
Load and unload safely.
Make sure passengers know to climb on and off the wagon one at a time in a designated loading area.
Announce the rules of the road.
Instruct your riders to remain seated during the hayride and refrain from throwing anything off the wagon. They also shouldn’t smoke, drink alcohol, or use lighters during the ride.
Make sure all children under a designated age are accompanied by adults and know not to engage in horseplay.
Prohibit nighttime photography.
Ask passengers not to take photos or record videos at night. The flash can blind your driver and cause an accident.